The Department of Enterprise Services is developing a new transit bus contract. This contract will replace the current Heavy-duty Mass Transit Vehicles contract (09214) and Light to Medium Duty Transit Buses contract (04115). The new transit bus contract will feature both heavy-duty and light to medium duty as categories in the same contract. New categories for the transit bus contract include parts, refits/refurbishments, double-decker buses, and trolley style buses.
The new contract will be a State Cooperative Purchasing Contract under Section 3019 of the FAST Act and compliant with FTA Guidelines. The state of Washington, through DES, will contract with vendors to provide transit buses and related equipment to multiple participants, including transit organizations from other states.
This webpage will provide updates on the status of the new contract.
The transit buses contract incorporates the previous bus contracts into a single master contract. The contract will include new categories for transit buses with trolley and double-decker options. Additionally, purchasers will be able to order replacement parts and refit/refurbishment services under the new contract.
These purchases are included in the contract as categories. Each category has its own specifications and requirements in the solicitation to ensure that Contractors meet the purchasers' needs. Contractors may bid on a single category or multiple categories based on the services they offer. Our stakeholder teams are currently developing the requirements for each category of the solicitation.
The heavy-duty category is for mass transit buses. These buses carry 40-60 passengers. The heavy-duty category has requirements for buses based on chassis length and propulsion. This category includes chassis ranging from 30 feet to 60 feet articulated. The category contains the common propulsion systems including diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), hybrid, and electric systems.
The light and medium duty category includes shuttles and minibuses. These buses carry around 10 to 20 passengers. Like the heavy-duty category, this category is will offer buses based on chassis and propulsion. Generally, light and medium buses operate on truck chassis, which are modified for use as buses. This category contains the common propulsion systems including gas, diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), propane, and hybrid systems.
The parts category will include the common replacement parts necessary for maintaining transit buses. This category will include the replacement parts that bus maintenance teams have indicated will be most useful. The parts category includes replacement parts for: propulsion systems, transmissions, brake systems, axles, suspension, seating, air systems, bearings, wheelchair ramps, flat glass, electrical components, HVAC, battery packs, current collector systems, and trolley poles. Other replacement parts are under consideration at this time.
The refits/refurbishment category is for refurbished mass transit buses. This category will include services to refurbish the existing buses of a transit agency to extend the operating life of their fleet. The category will also include refitting existing buses with upgraded systems or conversion of propulsion systems. This category is under consideration and undergoing market and vendor research.
The double-decker category is for heavy-duty double-decker buses. These buses are a separate category from heavy-duty because there are different manufacturers of double-decker buses and standard heavy-duty buses. Due to the increased capacity and weight of double-decker buses, additional requirements are being developed for this category.
The trolley category is for heavy-duty buses that are styled as trolleys/streetcars. These trolley buses have the outward appearance similar to trolleys with wood paneling and brass poles. The trolley bus category has a variety of options for purchasers to specify the appearance and style of the bus.
Technical specifications have been finalized for incorporation into solicitation. Options sheet sent to the team for review on December 20th. Responses with additions are due by January 21st.
Technical specifications have been finalized for incorporation into solicitation. Team members may send additional comments on specifications and options through February for incorporation into solicitation document.
Completed assessment of parts and components to include in solicitation.
DES developing specification draft and conducting informal request for information with vendors.
Developing specification draft for double-decker to be completed in mid-January.
DES evaluating use by transit agencies.
We are planning on hosting a vendor forum in February to get input from vendors on the proposed solicitation. The forum will give vendors and opportunity to share their thoughts on the current contract and how it can be improved in the new soliciation. This forum gives DES the opportunity to improve the new contract through open discussion with the potential bidders. The vendor forum allows us to gather information regarding new products and technologies as well as industry trends and standards. This forum will help refine the specifications and processes for the new contract.
Customers on this contract have expressed a desire for an online ordering system. We have listened to your feedback and are engaging our internal IT team to see what modificaitons can be made to the CARS system for use as an online bus purchasing system. More information on the ordering sytem will be sent to our stakeholder team for input in February. We will be in contact with potential bidders to get their feedback on the use of an online ordering system.
Below is a summary of our timeline for this solicitation. This is a tentative plan based on our process to give appropriate time for responses. We have budgeted a few weeks for obtain feedback on each major stage. The timeline can be accelerated based on prompt responses from the team. This timeline and the category status and next steps are provided to give notice of what is occurring and will be updated as the schedule changes. If you have questions on any step in the process, feel free to reach out to David Mgebroff for more information.
The new contract will be a State Cooperative Purchasing Contract under Section 3019 of the FAST Act and compliant with FTA Guidelines. The state of Washington, through DES, will contract with vendors to provide transit buses and related equipment to multiple participants, including transit organizations from other states. The contract will incorporate FTA required clauses and certifications.
Currently the cooperative agreement is being developed with initial input from Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon. If your state or organization would like to provide input or join the team, please contact David Mgebroff or at (360) 407-8049.
More information on the cooperative will be released as the agreement and the process for joining is developed.