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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2010

SCHUMER URGES KAWASAKI TO WORK WITH NY PARTNERS ON $886M WMATA CONTRACT


Kawasaki Will Soon Begin Work on Washington DC Transit Contract - Schumer Asks Kawasaki To Complete as Much Work as Possible In New York State

Senator Says Alstom and Bombardier Would Make Perfect Partners for Washington Project

Project Calls for Manufacture of 428 Railcars- Partnerships Could Bring Millions in Investment to Local Economies

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released a personal letter to the President of Kawasaki Rail Car Inc, Akira Hattori, urging him to complete as much of the work in New York as possible and to partner with other New York rail companies as Kawasaki completes its rail car project for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA). In May, Kawasaki, which has headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska and Yonkers, NY, was awarded a contract to produce 428 rail cars for WMATA as part of an $886 million contract.
 
Schumer’s letter is an effort to ensure that Kawasaki uses as many in-state companies as possible, including its plant in Yonkers, Alstom Transportation in Hornell, NY and Bombardier Inc., in Plattsburgh, NY as it seeks to complete the contract.  Media reports have indicated that Alstom has already submitted bids to build sub-systems needed for the rail cars.  Schumer noted that both Bomardier and Alstom were finalists for the WMATA contract.
 
“Bombardier and Alstom are both world class manufacturers with world class workforces, and Kawasaki would be wise to invest in their workers and businesses,” Schumer said. “Getting a slice of this investment will mean millions of dollars pouring into our local economies and will allow our workers to do what they do best – build trains and train parts. I urge Kawasaki to complete as much of their work in New York as possible.”
 
In 2008, WMATA announced that it would expand and modernize its fleet that serves the Washington DC metro area. As WMATA decided to boost its fleet, the transportation agency sought bids from manufacturers around the world including companies in New York State.  Ultimately, WMATA awarded the contract to Kawasaki but today Schumer is urging Kawasaki to complete as much of the work in New York as possible and to partner with New York manufacturers.  New York’s other rail manufacturers are known as some of the most sophisticated in the country and would no doubt prove to be an asset to the project. Kawasaki currently has production facilities in Yonkers, NY and Lincoln, NE. 
 
Today, Schumer has urged Kawasaki Rail Car Inc’s President to partner with companies in Upstate New York like Alstom Transport and Bomadier Inc. that have a proven track record of efficiency and success, so that as much work is done in New York as possible. Alstom and Bombardier, like Kawasaki, are highly sophisticated and skilled rail car manufacturers, that build rail fleet right here in New York.  A partnership between Kawasaki and these two companies would be invaluable; Each of these fine NY companies performs quality work on their own, and it only makes sense that sharing expertise, in a way that is geographically convenient, makes good business sense. 
 
The full text of Schumer’s letter to Kawasaki can be seen below:
 
Dear Mr. Hattori:
 
I write to ask that Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. work with other transit car manufacturers in New York State to build the new Washington Metro Transit Authority (WMATA) fleet.  I understand that Kawasaki, which has a large presence in Lincoln, NE and Yonkers, NY, was selected to build 428 new cars for the Washington, DC transit system.  I believe that New York has the most sophisticated rail car manufacturers in the country, and while I hope Kawasaki will perform much of their work at the Yonkers facility, I additionally ask that Kawasaki partner with New York’s other companies.
 
Alstom Transport and Bombardier Inc. like Kawasaki, are highly sophisticated and skilled rail car manufacturers, that build rail fleet right here in New York.  A partnership between Kawasaki and these two companies would be invaluable; any one of these companies performs great work on their own, so it only makes sense that sharing expertise, in a way that is geographically convenient, makes good business sense. 
 
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.  If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact my Washington, DC office at 202-224-6542.
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

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