Workers and Riders Unite to Urge BART Board of Directors to Buy American-Made Rail Cars

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system needs new rail cars. But will BART seize the opportunity to hire a company to manufacture the rail cars that will create as many jobs as possible here at home? That’s the subject of tomorrow’s BART Board of Directors meeting, where the Board will have the opportunity to move toward selecting a company that will produce rail cars using 95% domestic content.  

Alstom is a NY-based rail car manufacturing company that has produced more than 7,000 safe and reliable metro cars for transit systems throughout the country. If they’re selected by the BART Board of Directors (as opposed to another company that would use nearly one-third less domestic content), the company would help create and sustain a passenger rail supply chain that will serve commuter systems in California and across the country. The $20 million aluminum car body facility, for instance, would be the first of its kind in decades. Establishing this level of domestic manufacturing capability helps eliminate the expensive shipment of shells from offshore manufacturing facilities. This is true for all major components of passenger rail cars. By making investments in American manufacturers and American workers, we can strengthen our domestic supply chain and establish a reliable, cost-effective domestic source for our nation’s passenger rail and transit systems.

Additionally, domestic manufacturing assures appropriate environmental regulations are followed.  Making it in the United States avoids the emissions associated with transporting manufactured goods from countries that lack strong environmental protections, therefore reducing the lifecycle emissions of products.

The BART Board of Directors needs to prioritize creating quality, union jobs here at home. Wall Street talks about a “jobless economic recovery.” We know that's an oxymoron. An economic recovery is defined by putting people to work, as well as maintaining the manufacturing and other jobs we currently have.

Tomorrow is our chance to make sure the BART Board of Director do the right thing in selecting a company that will maximize job creation here at home. Please join us for a rally, just before the hearing, where union leaders, including the California Labor Federation Executive Secretary Treasurer Art Pulaski, will be joined by BART riders and community members to urge BART to select a company that will take the boldest steps to grow US jobs. The rally starts at 8am at the BART Board Room in the Kaiser Center in Oakland (344 20th St, 3rd Floor). The hearing itself starts at 9am, and all are encouraged to stick around and speak out in favor of BART for America!

Learn more at www.BARTforAmerica.com.