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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AEROSPACE/DEFENSE FIRMS JOIN RAILCAR MAKERS IN SUBMITTING 'L.A. CAR' BIDS

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) today received four formal responses to its Request For Proposal (RFP) to build 87 "L.A. Standardized Light Rail Vehicles" for the Metro Green Line and extensions of other light rail lines to be built as part of the Metro System this decade.
 In an unprecedented development likely to bolster Southern California's sagging aerospace and defense industries, five domestic aerospace/defense firms have teamed with four international railcar builders to submit proposals by today's 5 p.m. deadline. They are:
 -- Northrop Corp. with Bombardier Corp.;
 -- Lockheed Corp. and Hughes Aircraft Co. with Morrison-Knudsen;
 -- TRW Aerospace unit, AAI Corp. with Siemens Duewag Corp.; and
 -- Rockwell Corp. with Sumitomo Corp.
 The four proposals received included Domestic content commitments that ranged between 60 percent, the minimum requirement specified in the RFP, to a high of nearly 81 percent. Additional details of the proposals will be released as more information becomes available.
 "We've worked very hard to encourage local aerospace and defense firms to form these partnerships with the railcar industry to help them make the transition into the emerging surface transportation industry," said LACTC Chairman and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich. "Our effort signals a new way of doing business and ushers in a new era in transportation that will create long-term opportunities for the bidders."
 LACTC Commissioner Nick Patsaouras, a leading advocate of the partnerships, said, "I'm gratified that our years of planning have come to fruition. These partnerships will create thousands of local jobs. We can show the country that Los Angeles understands and already has embarked on the kind of public-private sector teamwork President-elect Bill Clinton has indicated will characterize his approach to getting our nation's economy rolling again."
 The LACTC will evaluate bidders' proposals based on four major components: Technical portion (35 points), Cost (35 points), Advanced Transit Product Development Program (ATPDP) portion (15 points) and Content Level (15 points). The highest achievable score will be 100 points.
 The content level component of the bid is divided into three categories: Domestic Content, Domestic Business Development and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE/WBE) Content. The minimum domestic content requirement is 60 percent; the minimum DBE/WBE requirement is 10 percent. In an innovative refinement of the traditional domestic content definition, the LACTC added the Domestic Business Development category and established evaluation criteria that award extra points for proposals that will spawn new American businesses in the transit field or new product lines for existing companies.
 "At a time when Southern California industries seek a new direction, these creative partnerships will stimulate local job development in precisely the area hit hardest over the past few years," said LACTC Commissioner and Rancho Palos Verdes City Councilwoman Jacki Bacharach. "The development of new transit products will enhance our local transportation network and boost our local economy."
 The research and development portion, the Advanced Transit Products Development Program, is perhaps one of the most important and unique elements of the RFP. It encourages the defense and aerospace industries to use their decades of investment in and knowledge of high technology systems for surface transportation applications. It is designed to hasten the transfer of expertise in such areas as propulsion and braking systems, "smart" windshields and lightweight car frames to transportation product design and manufacture.
 Under the program, each team is required to submit three Advanced Transit Products. The successful team will receive up to $10 million in funding for products development. These ideas will be tested and evaluated on two prototype cars included in the 87-car order and eventually may be incorporated in some of the cars ordered.
 As part of its strategy to help develop opportunities for aerospace and defense companies, the LACTC last year published a "Products and Services" Directory listing nearly 600 Southern California manufacturers capable of producing products or providing services to railcar suppliers or sub-contractors. The LACTC provided the directory to the bidders to assist them in identifying local sub- contractors that might be useful in developing their proposals for the 87-car order.
 "We are very pleased that several major Southern California aerospace/defense companies are represented here as partners with an impressive array of international railcar manufacturers," said LACTC Executive Director Neil Peterson. "Over the past year, we have worked to build supplier confidence and establish relationships with partners outside the traditional transportation circles. The transit system we are building will form the backbone of Southern California's economy. Companies that recognize the growing opportunities in surface transportation here, and in the industry's rapidly expanding global market, will position themselves well to make the transition."
 It will take several months to evaluate the proposal before a contract can be awarded, Peterson said. Although the exact size of the contract is not known, it will be a boost to the Southern California economy and because of global rail expansion, economists believe enough future business to help to spur a local surface transportation industry.
 "This procurement symbolizes a new direction for companies capable of making the transition to surface transportation and the revival of a domestic industry that had all but disappeared," said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Economic Development Corp. "We have heard a great deal about the need to invest in America's infrastructure and to develop opportunities for aerospace, defense and automobile manufacturers. This procurement will add a new dimension to the local economy and hopefully will generate high quality jobs in the near future."
 Specifications call for the 87 cars to be compatible with the existing Metro Blue Line light rail service and be upgradeable to fully automated operation in the future. Fifteen cars are currently being built by Sumitomo Corp. to provide initial light rail service for the Metro Green Line opening in November 1994. Ultimately, the 87 cars will be used for future light rail extensions of the Metro System.
 The 20-mile Metro Green Line will begin in Norwalk and run 16.5 miles in the center median of the I-105 (Glenn Anderson Freeway), then curve south at Aviation Boulevard and Imperial Highway and for the 3.5-mile El Segundo Branch, ending at Freeman and Marine avenues.
 The Metro Green Line is part of a 400-mile light, heavy and commuter rail network which is part of the Metro System, an integrated $150 billion transit program launched in 1990 and which will be constructed over the next 30 years. The Metro Red Line subway is scheduled to open Jan. 30.
 "The LACTC designed this RFP to address the desire by elected officials and industry experts to create local employment and develop opportunities for the ailing aerospace and defense firms," Peterson added. "The responses have accomplished these goals and have created a positive new standard for public sector participation in the procurement process. Most important, it will be a valuable tool in assisting the LACTC in building the necessary industrial infrastructure to develop a world-class transportation network for Los Angeles."
 -0- 1/11/93
 /CONTACT: Michael Bustamante or Stephanie Brady of the LACTC Transportation News Bureau, 213-244-6591 or 213-244-6792/


CO: Los Angeles County Transportation Commission ST: California IN: TRN ARO SU:

LS-KJ -- LA046 -- 3778 01/11/93 22:24 EST
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Date:Jan 11, 1993
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