New York Transportation Authority Awards TETRA Contract to PowerTrunk Team
Thursday, February 25, 2016 | Comments

The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) awarded a $202.1 million contract to Parsons Transportation Group for a new two-way radio network for the authority’s buses. The contract includes a 700/800 MHz TETRA network supplied by PowerTrunk, part of U.K.-based Sepura Group.

The 58-month contract includes three five-year options for maintenance and training support services, which is not included in the total contract amount. Parsons is an engineering, construction, technical and management services firm.

The new radio communications system will replace two analog networks and allow the NYC Transit Department of Buses (DOB) and MTA Bus Co. (MTABC) to share a radio system. The work includes retrofitting 6,250 existing buses and support vehicles with new mobile radios, providing 1,250 portable radios, and outfitting the new bus command center with dispatch consoles; CAD equipment; network, telephone, video and audio systems; furniture; and all the hardware and software necessary for a functioning dispatch/command center.

The board approved the use of a competitive request for proposals (RFP) in July 2013. Two LMR vendors submitted proposals, Motorola Solutions as a prime and PowerTrunk as a subcontractor to Parsons Transportation Group. Because of the complexity of the project, a technical committee (TC) comprised of members from various NYC Transit and MTABC departments including engineering, communications and electronics maintenance was established to evaluate the technical proposals and report findings to the selection committee (SC).

Following negotiations with both vendors, the internal estimate was revised to $204 million plus $80,000 for optional maintenance. After clarifications, Parsons submitted a best and final offer (BAFO) of $202.1 million plus $90.7 million for the three five-year optional maintenance periods. Motorola's alternate BAFO was for nearly $169 million plus $81.9 million for the three five-year optional maintenance periods and $15.6 million for training modules.

The MTA board meeting minutes said Motorola's proposed solutions lacked FCC certification for 700 MHz equipment and “was deemed marginal by the technical committee due to its inability to demonstrate compliance with the minimum requirements of Transit's specifications with respect to coverage and signal strength on the 700 MHz system.”

The committee unanimously recommended Parsons for the award, determining that its proposal offered the best overall value to NYC Transit based on the selection criteria. Notwithstanding the lower BAFO price, Motorola's BAFO proposal failed to rectify its technical deficiencies and, as a result, was not recommended for award by the SC, the minutes said.

“We are proud for having been selected by New York City Transit as part of Parsons’ proposal and look forward to a fruitful cooperation with our partners,” said PowerTrunk President and CEO Jose Martin.

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