Buses - RFP for Refurbishing
A. You must first determine that your State procurement statutes allow for the use of RFP's and do not require sealed bidding for this type of procurement. State laws vary on this point. Federal requirements as published in FTA Circular 4220.1F require full and open competition as a principle, but you can satisfy that requirement with RFP's (negotiated procurements) as well as sealed bidding. FTA would have no problem with an RFP as long as your State laws allow it also. The subject of Negotiated Procurements is covered in Section 4.5 "Competitive Proposals (Request for Proposals)" of the manual.
One transit agency we know of that uses RFP's for bus procurements is New York City Transit. You may call them at (718) 694-4218 to discuss that agency's experience with RFP's on bus- related procurements. Another source of information would be the Purchasing Manager at PACE Bus in Chicago. His number is (847) 228-2493.
(Revised: July, 2010)
Q. Where can one obtain examples of solicitations and contracts for painting busses?
A. We would suggest that you contact several transit agencies that operate and maintain buses. They could share with you examples of solicitations and contracts they have used for painting buses. We believe this would be the most helpful place to obtain guidance. We would also suggest you review the "Best Practices Procurement Manual" (BPPM). The BPPM is being developed as a service to FTA grantees to assist them in their procurement operations. The "Requirements" referred to in the BPPM would pertain to those agencies spending Federal grant funds. Although these requirements may not be relevant to your procurement, you may find much that is useful in terms of "best industry practices." (Revised: July, 2010)
Q. We have several buses that have met their useful life. We are planning on rebuilding these vehicles (estimate of $42,000 each) instead of replacing them. Would the special conditions for rolling stock purchases apply to this bid including Buy America, Bus Testing, and the Pre-Award/Post Delivery Audits? Vehicles are medium duty Blue Bird Buses purchased with federal Section 5307 funds.
A. The provisions of 49 CFR § 661.5 extend Buy America regulations to all "projects" funded with FTA financial assistance. This includes FTA-funded rebuild and remanufacturing projects (see http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_609.html). With regard to Bus Testing, however, section 665.1 of 49 CFR Part 665 only applies the testing requirement to "new" bus models. A bus that has already undergone testing does not need to undergo additional testing after that vehicle is remanufactured or rebuilt. (Revised: July, 2010)