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CAF asks FTA to reconsider

Don’t know how much good this will do them, but I guess it can’t hurt to try.

Metro’s rail car contractor formally asked federal officials Friday to reconsider their decision that the company’s $330 million contract must be canceled in order to preserve federal funding for light-rail expansion in Houston.

The company, CAF USA, said the Federal Transit Administration’s decision was based on incomplete or erroneous information — starting with the name and nationality of the firm holding the contract.

Throughout its report on its investigation of the procurement, the company said in a letter to the federal agency, the FTA refers to CAF – an acronym for the Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles – which is the parent company of CAF USA.

“It is troubling to CAF USA that, after a four-month investigation, the name of one of the key contracting parties was incorrectly stated giving the impression that Metro was negotiating with CAF USA’s Spanish parent. CAF USA is a U.S. company, pays U.S. taxes, employs U.S. workers and has a production facility in Elmira, N.Y.,” the letter states.

They also claim that the FTA mischaracterized the deal for the two prototype LRVs that was one of the key points in the FTA’s decision. Like I said, I have a hard time imagining the FTA reading this and saying “oh yeah, you’re right, our bad, sorry about that”, but with $300 million at stake I might take a shot, too.

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  1. […] completely disqualified from getting the New Starts grants at all. It sure is hard to see how CAF changes the FTA’s mind about requiring Metro to cancel their contract. I hope that sometime after CAF sues Metro over the […]