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Congressman Garamendi Urges BART To Build Cars In USA

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – With BART ready to award a contract for the first cars to be built for its new fleet, the board of directors is being urged by Congressman John Garamendi to have them manufactured in the United States.

Steel for the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge was made in China. Using the bridge as a backdrop while addressing reporters on Treasure Island, Garamendi said Tuesday that the new fleet of BART cars should be built in the United States.

Garamendi has introduced a bill in Congress that would require transit agencies that use federal dollars to use more US labor.

"This project is expected to cost $3.2 billion. Will it be spent on American-made equipment, or on foreign-made equipment? That's the question," said Garamendi. "And it's not just for the BART Board of Directors, but for every American tax payer, every State of California tax payer, and for every BART rider that puts their nickel, dollar, $5, or $10 bill into the fare box."

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

Paul Overseer of BART is sympathetic, but the assistant general manager said that no one in the US is capable of making the cars on their own. He said that the board policy is that at least 60 percent of the components have to be made in the US, and 75 percent of the assembly has to be done here.

The board may award the contract for the first 260 new cars of its fleet later this spring.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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