State Seeks Proposals to Redesign 1,025 Subway Cars, Including Up to 750 With "Open End" Design
RFP Requires Proposers to Offer U.S. Employment Opportunities and Job Retention Plans
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has issued a Request for Proposals for 1,025 new and redesigned subway cars. The RFP sets in motion the process to order and deliver the cars in the most cost-effective and innovative way possible. As part of the RFP process, proposers will be required to submit a U.S. Employment Plan outlining the number and description of U.S. jobs that would be created and/or retained, as well as access to available jobs in connection with certain requirements of the contract.
Last week, Governor Cuomo unveiled designs of the new subway cars which include innovative enhancements to the exteriors and interiors, wider doors, and the addition of up to 750 “Open Car End” designed-cars. The new designs will reduce wait times and increase capacity. These vital investments are part of the record $27 billion, five-year MTA Capital Program secured by Governor Cuomo to renew and expand the MTA network.
“The MTA is the one of the busiest transportation networks in the country and we’re taking the next step toward rebuilding and modernizing New York’s subway system,” Governor Cuomo said. “This action will increase capacity, reduce overcrowding, and enhance the customer experience while creating jobs and building for the future.”
“The MTA’s $27 billion, five-year capital program has the capacity to create tens of thousands of construction, manufacturing, engineering and other jobs,” said MTA Chairman and Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast. “We also recognize that applying the US Employment Plan to this new subway car RFP—supported by the capital program – is a great way to ensure that jobs are also retained by the these contractors and that they are constantly focused on achieving these goals throughout the multiple years of the contract term.”
The proposer must describe in the USEP the quality and range of U.S. employment opportunities expected to be created and retained in connection with the production, delivery, acceptance, testing, and warranty coverage requirements of the contract. The proposer must also describe the direct dollar value and the fringe benefit costs for those jobs, and the commitment the proposer will make to achieve that level of job creation/retention.
The proposer will also be required to submit a workforce impact analysis. The analysis identifies the workforce skills needed to complete the contract and the minimum requirements for each job/skill category, including the percentage of jobs by each job category and the proposer’s plans to develop skills of new hires necessary to meet the basic job qualifications. The analysis will also identify the proposer’s plans to provide career pathways, connecting training completion, on-the-job performance, and advancement through the organizational structure, and the extent to which such skills would be transferrable to other manufacturing positions after the end of production of the railcars.
John Samuelsen, Transit Workers Union Local 100 President, said “Taxpayer dollars that are used to buy equipment like subway cars should create good quality manufacturing jobs here, not overseas. Other agencies will likely follow the MTA’s lead. It is the largest transit agency in the country and often sets the standard for others.”
Madeline Janis, Executive Director, Jobs to Move America said, “By adopting the U.S. Employment Plan, the MTA has included a jobs disclosure and evaluation tool for the purchase of these trains that will improve New York's transit system, create good jobs and revive manufacturing in our communities that need it the most. We commend Governor Cuomo on his leadership and commitment to maximizing taxpayer dollars and improving the economic outcomes of our communities.”
Reimagined and Enhanced Subway Cars
The MTA last week issued the RFP for the construction of 1,025 new subway cars, which will highlight that the timeline of design and production, as well as cost-effectiveness, will be central factors in awarding the contract.
The RFP will also emphasize the need to align with MTA design guidelines, which were established after a review of best practices in a number of major metropolitan areas from around the world, and identified several key elements for use in the New York system, including:
- Open Car End Design: The MTA anticipates that out of 1,025 new cars, up to 750 will feature an Open Car End designed. The Open Car End design replaces the door between cars with an accordion-like connector in order to create longer, open spaces, allowing for greater passenger flow movement and increasing capacity in the process. These cars have become an international standard: in London 31 percent of cars will be Open Car End by the end of the year; in Paris the figure climbs to 37 percent; and in Toronto to 56 percent.
- Wider Doors: The door width of the new cars will be expanded from the current MTA standard of 50 inches to 58 inches. Wider subway doors can reduce delays by allowing customers to enter and exit more quickly, and have become an international standard. According to a computer simulation of passenger flow conducted on behalf of the MTA, in crowded scenarios wider doors can reduce a train’s ‘dwell time’ in the station by 32 percent.
- Customer Amenities & Security: The interior of new cars will also feature a host of new amenities, including WiFi, USB chargers, full color digital customer information displays, digital advertisements, illuminated door opening alerts and security cameras to promote passenger safety.
- Exterior Features: Design elements for the exterior of the new subway cars include a new blue front with large windows, LED headlights, and a blue stripe with gold accents along the sides.
More information on the RFP can be found here.
The MTA worked with distinguished and world-renowned design consultants, who hold extensive international train design expertise, for its new rolling stock and station enhancements. The lead designer, Antenna Design, and engineering consultant, CH2M, have created the new subway car design. Lead designers, Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, program managers – both with offices in London and New York – spearheaded the stations’ initiative.
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