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T Spending $3 Million on Rail-Contract Search

The MBTA is looking far and wide for a company to run its commuter rail service.

Before the T shells out billions on a new long-term, commuter-rail-service contract, it’s first spending nearly $3 million on an international search to attract the best applicants, according to the Boston Herald.

The T is looking for a company to run its commuter-rail-service operations over the next five to possibly 30 years, as its current, roughly $250 million-per-year contract with the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. (MBCR) expires June 2013.

MBCR plans to bid aggressively for the new deal, according to the Huffington Post. The company, which has been in place since 2003, has received some criticism during its tenure, primarily for weather-related delays. However, MBCR officials defended their record in January.

Half of the search allotment will go toward legal fees, according to the Herald, with lawyers from Greenberg Traurig and Maher already on board to assist.

Steven Mudge, who oversees the T’s rail operations, told the newspaper that the T wants “to signal to the market that (it’s) opening a serious, robust competition seeking the most qualified bidders, including international bidders.”

Commuter rail stations near Easton are located in Brockton, Stoughton, Canton, Sharon and Mansfield.

Do you think MBCR deserves a new deal?

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