Basel transport operator Basler Verkehrs Betriebe (BVB) named Bombardier Transportation as the preferred bidder to supply 60 trams on October 25. The Canadian group has now won the biggest vehicle procurement in the 116-year history of (BVB) with the cheapest offer of 3.66 million Swiss Francs(CHF) (US$4.2m) per tram.
Bids were also submitted by Swiss Stadler Rail and the German Siemens group. However, BVB Chairman Martin Gudenrath said, “that although all the bids ensured the same high quality manufacturing that the Bombardier tram had won on a cost basis”.
Gudenrath stated that the Bombardier bid was over CFH 70m (US$80m) cheaper to than the competition and that Bombardier had put forward the best bid at around CFH 220m (US$252m). The deal with Bombardier also includes an option for 51 more trams for the same price.
Swiss Stadler Rail had offered two versions of its “Tango” model.
The 75 percent low-floor model for CHF 294m (US$337m) and the 100 percent low-floor for CHF 257m (US$294m).
Stadler Rail said it was very frustrated to have missed out on such a major contract solely on cost grounds, and that it sees this failure to secure the contract as a sign that the high value of the CHF is hitting Swiss manufacturers in domestic as well as the export markets.
Siemens, which has previously supplied 28 Combinos trams to BVB had asked for CHF 282 m (US$323m) to supply 60 of the new “Combino II ” trams.
The first two Flexity trams are due to be delivered in 2013 ready for the opening of the extension of Line 8 across the German border to Weil am Rhein.
The 2.8-kilometer tram line extension will cost according to the present calculations, about CHF 104m (US$119). After delivery of the first two trams the contract then calls for two trams a month to be delivered from 2014.
The low-floor “Flexity” offered by Bombardier to BVB is already in use in Geneva, Augsburg, Brussels, Geneva, Graz, Innsbruck, Marseille, Palermo and Toronto.the fact that the tram has already been approved Germany and France is considered an extra advantage in terms of the extension of tram lines BVB to Weil am Rhein (Germany) and Saint-Louis (France).
The BVB order with Bombardier calls for two models of the “Flexity” 43 models with carrying capacity of 254 passengers 43.2-meter-long version and with eight doors and 17 of the 31-meter short trams, which can accommodate 183 passengers.
The 100% low-floor vehicles have step-less interiors and use conventional wheel-set bogies, making these trams particularly suited to people with restricted mobility. Boarding and alighting is also made easier by an electrical sliding step at the wide double doors.
The trams will be manufactured in Austria and Germany and at Bombardier’s site in Villeneuve in the Vaud region. Bombardier also has a workshop in Switzerland in Oberwil.
Zurich Public Transport (VBZ )Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich, has asked for bids to replace its trams in 2016, and decisions in this regard are expected in the spring of 2012.