APTA | Passenger Transport
May 24, 2010

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Comprehensive Bus Guidelines Now Available

For the first time, all of APTA’s Standard Bus Procurement Guidelines (SBPG) standards—technical specifications as well as commercial terms—are available in a single volume, released by the APTA Standards Development Program during the APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference. The original version of the document contained only the commercial terms, known as the terms and conditions; the technical specifications were viewed as a later phase of the effort that has now been completed.

The updated SBPG represents all bus lengths, from 30-foot to 60-foot articulated models, and the dominant propulsion types. The entire text has undergone a comprehensive update since the last edition was released about 10 years ago.

The commercial terms section of the new document has been updated to reflect current practices in the transit industry. The old SBPG did not reflect current FTA requirements and changes in the way the industry looks at various issues.

These changes mean that the SPBG is finally a complete document that transit agencies can use to procure a bus—including both technical specifications and commercial terms—and the document reflects current best practice in the industry.

“Transit agencies large and small will find the new standard bus procurement guidelines to be an invaluable resource,” said APTA President William Millar. “They now include technical specifications as well as updated commercial terms and conditions. The new document is the work of more than 100 transit industry members, from both the public and private sectors, who came together to develop a document that reflects today’s best practices. And it is a document that will continue to be updated as industry practices evolve and as technology changes.”

The document contains the following sections:
* “Notice of Request for Proposals (RFP)” contains general information to prospective proposers regarding the RFP package and can also be used as notification of the RFP to the public or an advertisement of the procurement opportunity.
* “Instructions to Proposers” provides detailed requirements that proposers must follow in submitting their proposal. This section also includes evaluation criteria and information of interest to the proposer regarding agency contract award procedures.
* “General Conditions,” once customized by each agency, should contain the standard terms and conditions and should be modified only by language added in the Special Provisions section.
* “Special Provisions” should be customized to meet the agency’s specific requirements for each individual project or contract, as well as local and state requirements. The Special Provisions are intended to amend and supplement the General Conditions to meet the individual requirements of each project.
* “Federal Requirements” are detailed and should be removed when the project is not funded with federal funds.
* “Technical Specifications” are included and can be detached as a stand-alone document.
* “Warranty Requirements” include requirements to warrant the operation of the bus.
* “Quality Assurance” covers manufacturing, inspection, and acceptance procedures
* “Forms and Certifications” are submitted with the proposal or the proposal may be considered nonresponsive.
* The “Contract” will incorporate the surviving terms of the RFP, as well as the contractor’s proposal in a binding document to be executed by the agency and successful proposer within a designated time period following award.
* Appendices.

The updated version of the SBPG is available online. APTA is seeking transit agencies interested in beta-testing the document for feedback. The final version representing all comments and feedback from the testing phase will be available at APTA’s 2010 Annual Meeting and concurrent Bus Technical, Maintenance and Procurement Workshop in October. Please contact Jeff Hiott with any questions.

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