The two losing bidders of Honolulu’s rail car contract, Bombardier Transportation and Sumitomo Corp. of America, filed protests with the city yesterday.
Last month the city announced its intent to award the contract to Italian-based Ansaldo Honolulu, which proposed a contract valued at about $1.4 billion, including $574 million to design and build the rail cars.
Sumitomo Vice President Gino Antoniello had already announced his company’s intent to file a protest. He has argued that his company scored higher than Ansaldo in many other aspects of the project. His company’s proposed price was about $1.45 billion.
"Our concerns have only intensified following our debriefing meeting with the city last Monday, and as we thoroughly reviewed the documents that were made available to us," Antoniello said in a statement. "The failure of the city to recognize and properly take into account the cost of the project over its total life cycle will leave the Honolulu taxpayers with the burden of paying as much as $900 million more to operate and maintain the system."
Bombardier Transportation is protesting the reason for its disqualification. The city said the Canadian-based company was disqualified based on liability language the company was proposing as a "condition." However, Vice President Andy Robbins has said the issue was raised as far back as June.
"Following all of our research and our debrief with the city last week, it has become very clear that an error was made and that Bombardier’s best and final offer proposal was improperly disqualified," he said yesterday. "While this may have been done unwittingly, it nonetheless wiped aside a proposal that was the best value for the city and for the taxpayers of Honolulu."