Losing bidder goes to court to block comutter rail deal
The Boston Globe - 03/06/2014
Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., which lost its bid to continue running the state’s commuter rail network, plans to file a request Thursday asking a judge to stop the winning bidder, Keolis Commuter Services, from taking over, arguing that the award process was skewed by favoritism.
The conflict threatens to disrupt the scheduled July 1 takeover and risks leaving hundreds of thousands of riders in the lurch.
The commuter rail contract, awarded at the end of January, would grant Keolis $2.68 billion over eight years, a price tag 6 percent lower than MBCR’s final bid.
A draft of MBCR’s court filing provided to the Globe contends that Keolis lied about its record of accidents and fatalities in Europe and failed to meet requirements for hiring minority-owned subcontractors. It also says the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority helped guide Keolis through the bidding procedures, in some cases coaching it on navigating the process. In addition, MBCR alleges the narrow profit margin Keolis outlined is too risky to be realistic.