Two bids for Bucharest’s 100 new trams

Within the procedure for the acquisition of modern trams for Romania’s capital city, Bucharest, two rolling stock manufacturers, Romania’s Astra Vagoane Calatori and Turkey’s Durmazlar Makine San Ve Tic AS submitted bids until the deadline of 15 March. Only two manufacturers remained in competition for the submission of offers for the acquisition of 100 trams although 20 companies subscribed initially.
On 11 December 2018, Bucharest Municipality published in SICAP (Collaborative Information System for Public Procurement) the procurement notice for 100 trams, the estimated cost of the contract being of RON 845.68 million (EUR 180 million). The procurement notice refers to the acquisition of 100 trams and equipment necessary to the optimisation of passenger public transport on tram lines 1, 10, 21, 25, 32,40, 41 and 55.

Troublesome tender

In December 2018, the National Council for Solving Complaints (CNSC) received the complaint submitted by Alstom, one of the bidders, against the attribution documentation and thus forced Bucharest Municipality to suspend the public procurement procedure until the complaint was solved.
Thus, Bucharest Municipality (PMB) was asked to change the restrictive deadline of 45 days since the deadline for the submission of bids until which bidders had the right to ask for clarifications and, consequently, to permit the submission of clarifications for bidders by 20-25 days before the deadline for the submission of bids, so that the clarification procedure of the attribution documentation would be useful.
The contester asked PMB to extend the restrictive deadline of delivery in the first year of contract, currently set as 9 months since signing the contract, and the homologation deadline, currently set as 3 months after delivery.
The contester also wanted to replace the minimum threshold of RON 28 million (EUR 5,8 million), permissive and lacking all relevance, imposed for similar experience, with a superior threshold that would reflect the actual capacity of the economic operators of carrying out a public procurement contract whose value (estimated at RON 8,45 million – EUR 1.77 million) and complexity are superior to that resulted from the experience thus imposed to participants.
Also, Alstom believes that delivery deadlines imposed in the tram delivery scheme are too short.
The minimum delivery scheme, required by PMB, envisages the delivery of a tram in the first year of contract, the delivery of 48 trams in the second, as well as in the third year and the delivery of 3 trams in the last year of contract.
Moreover, the contester believes that the critical point is mostly represented by the fact that the winner had to deliver the first tram in 9 months since signing the contract and to homologate it, at its own expense, in 3 months since delivery. If not, the contract will be terminated.
Further on, in January 2018, the National Council for Solving Complaints rejected Alstom’s complaint. The appeal submitted by Alstom to Bucharest Court of Appeals was also unsuccessful. Therefore, in March 2019, the French manufacturer decided not to submit an offer.

The Czech also submitted a complaint, but gave up the day of the bid submission

On 8 March, Czech rolling stock manufacturer Skoda Transportation also submitted a complaint a week before the expiration of the deadline for the submission of bids.
Skoda Transportation motivated its complaint by saying that the deadlines of the municipality are “unrealistic and restrict competition”, as the municipality refused to consider, for example, the time necessary for the translation of the documentation. The Czech were displeased also because “restrictive requirements would affect competition”. Skoda Transportation accused the municipality for not solving the problems posed by potential participants.
But a surprising decision came the day of the submission of bids, 15 March, when the Czech company gave up its complaint, the National Council of Solving Complaints (CNSC) informs.
Therefore, only two manufacturers are still in competition, Romania’s Astra Vagoane Calatori and Turkey’s Durmazlar.
The 100 new trams will be fully low-floor all along the vehicle. They will be 36-m long with at least 5 double doors, equipped with climatization to ensure both the air-conditioning and the heating of the passenger room. Temperature and air debit can be adjusted.

Also, the procurement documentation requires that trams should have a capacity of at least 220 total passengers of which at least 56 on seats, a low level of noise, video survey installation and equipment to validate cards.

A manual reversible platform will be installed for passengers in wheelchairs and 2 special seats will be mounted next to the closest access door of the driving post. Also, handrails, command and communication buttons and security devices must be installed in the proximity of these special seats.

Other technical characteristics

  • Tram use period – at least 30 years
  • Tram fault-free operation period – at least 5 years or 300,000 km since the conclusion of the tram receipt minutes
  • Tram car body width 2400-2450 mm
  • Specific power consumption is an evaluation factor with significant share
  • ITC installation of the tram provides passenger information functions (audio and visual), infotainment, passenger counters, video surveillance, Wi-Fi and online communication system.
  • Possibility to transport bicycles through a reversible fastening system that will not take the space of passengers when not in use
  • Infotainment system with TFT LCD-LED or superior displays to indicate the route, the position of the tram on the route and for advertising with anti-vandalism equipment installed inside the passenger room, at least four displays.

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