City Council Meeting: September 23, 2014

Agenda Item: 3-B  

To:                   Mayor and City Council 

From:              Edward F. King, Director of Transit Services

Subject:          Purchase and Delivery of Seven 60’ Low-Floor Articulated Compressed Natural Gas Powered Buses

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council authorize the City Manager to:

 

1.    Execute an assignment agreement with San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS) and New Flyer of America, Inc., a Canadian-based company, to release seven 60’ low-floor articulated Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered transit buses from SDMTS contract B0570.02-12 and assign them to the City.  

2.    Negotiate and execute a contract agreement with New Flyer of America, Inc. to furnish and deliver seven 60’ low-floor articulated CNG-powered transit buses in an amount not to exceed $6,825,464, including base bus, delivery, tax, spare parts and contingency.  

3.    Issue a Notice to Proceed (NTP) to New Flyer of America, Inc. to furnish and deliver seven 60’ low-floor articulated, CNG-powered transit buses. 

 

Executive Summary

Federal purchasing regulations allow transit properties to procure vehicles and equipment by “piggybacking” on another agency’s purchase.  Piggybacking is the post‑award use of a contractual process that allows an agency that was not involved in the original competitive procurement to purchase the same supplies/equipment through that original process. Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) would piggyback on SDMTS’ contract agreement B0570.02-12 with New Flyer of America, Inc. to expedite the purchasing process and enable BBB to replace seven vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life. The total amount, not to exceed $6,825,464, would be funded using Federal/State grants and County transit sales tax funds.

 

BBB developed a capital improvement program to replace aging buses as they approach the end of their useful service. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines set the useful life of a transit vehicle at 12 years.

 

The purchase of the seven 60’ low-floor articulated CNG-powered transit buses would replace seven 40’ buses that have reached their useful life cycle. The new articulated buses are more reliable and efficient. Seating capacity would increase from 40 seats per bus to 58 seats per bus. These buses would assist in reducing overcrowding on high volume routes. 

 

Discussion

BBB currently operates 24 NABI buses purchased in 2002. FTA guidelines set the useful life of a transit vehicle at 12 years. BBB has a capital improvement program to replace aging buses as they approach the end of their useful service life. Seven of these 24 buses have been identified for replacement.  The replacement of these buses with 60’ articulated buses would increase seating capacity by 126 seats, or 18 seats per bus. This would reduce overcrowding and increase rider comfort. 

 

The breakout of the purchase for seven transit vehicles is:

7 CNG 60’ Buses including Delivery, Warranties and ADA equipment

 $       5,722,021

Spare Parts

 $          250,000

Contingency (5%)

$          286,101

Tax

 $          567,342

TOTAL

 $       6,825,464

 

Vendor Selection

In an effort to fast track the procurement process at a minimum of eight months, staff recommends piggybacking as opposed to issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP). Piggybacking is the post-award use of a contractual process that allows an agency that was not involved in an original competitive procurement to purchase the same supplies/equipment through that original process. Under this procedure, the original purchaser may assign the option for additional units to another agency. Comparing this process to developing and issuing an RFP, BBB sought to obtain the most competitive price as a result of volume discounts afforded by vendors of large orders. Staff also contacted transit agencies that had recently purchased buses through these programs and vendors.  SDMTS recently purchased 60’ CNG powered buses and had provisions in their contract to release option buses to other agencies.  

 

Staff reviewed SDMTS’ 60’ CNG bus procurement to ensure proper requirements and documentation were followed per federal guidelines.  Two responses were received: one from New Flyer of America, Inc. and one from NABI, Inc. declining to submit a proposal.  SDMTS reviewed the proposal that was submitted by New Flyer, Inc. and a responsive and responsible determination was made.  It should be noted that NABI and New Flyer have since merged under the name New Flyer of America, Inc.  New Flyer of America, Inc. is the only manufacturer of CNG articulated buses.

 

SDMTS’ RFP evaluation criteria included, but were not limited to, the following:

1.           Minimum Vehicle Performance Requirements

2.           Projected Operating Cost and Reliability

3.           Technical Support

4.           Warranty and After-Market Parts Support

5.           Proposed Technical Deviations

6.           Maintainability

7.           Manufacturing Process

8.           Project Management

9.           Deviations from Contract Terms and Conditions

10.        Advanced Design Provisions

11.        Emissions

12.        Vehicle Structure

13.        System Safety Provisions

14.        Past Performance, Customer References, and Current Commitments

15.        Qualifications and Financial Stability of the Proposer

 

BBB staff confirmed that SDMTS’ competitive bid process met the City’s Municipal Code Section 2.24.080, Competitive Bid Requirements. All required federal certifications have been received by the manufacturer from SDMTS through the competitive bid process.  In addition, BBB staff conducted an independent cost estimate using LA County’s regional bus pricing average for 60’ articulated CNG buses and deemed New Flyer’s price to be fair and reasonable.  The price per bus is $817,432, including ADA equipment, delivery, and warranties.    

 

New Flyer of America, Inc. is a Canadian-based bus manufacturer with several United States locations including assembly plants in St. Cloud, Minnesota and Crookston, North Dakota and a service center in Ontario, California. New Flyer of America, Inc. has been manufacturing buses for more than 85 years and is the largest producer of transit buses in North America. They are recognized as providing a high quality transit bus to their customers and providing a high level of service after the sale.  The base bus would include all major components plus, but not limited to, heating/air conditioning, Advanced Fleet Management System components, the G.E. Mobileview Penta 16 digital security camera system, two ADA wheelchair accessible seating with securement systems,  and Recaro seats for operator comfort.

 

On July 28, 2014, BBB received confirmation that  SDMTS would assign seven buses from SDMTS’ contract agreement B0570.02-12 with New Flyer of America, Inc. to the City of Santa Monica at the agreed upon cost and pricing structure of their current contract. Under Municipal Code Section 2.24.080, the SDMTS contract with New Flyer of America, Inc. meets the Code requirements for piggyback purchases. SDMTS’ contract pricing is available to BBB for procurement of 60’ articulated CNG buses specified in the contract document between New Flyer of America, Inc. and SDMTS.

 

Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

The contract agreement to be awarded to New Flyer of America Inc. is for an amount not to exceed $6,825,464 (including a 5% Contingency). Funds are available in the FY 2014-15 Capital Improvement Program budget in account C410519.589000.  

 

 

Prepared by: Getty Modica, Transit Maintenance Officer

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward F. King

Director of Transit Services

 

Rod Gould

City Manager

 

 

Attachment:    A - BOS Price Cost Analysis