Council of State rejects Bombardier tram appeal

Summary

De Lijn can go ahead with ordering new trams from a Spanish company after the Council of State rejected an appeal by Bombardier in Bruges

Procedures were correct

The Council of State has rejected an appeal by the Bruges-based division of Canadian tram and train constructor Bombardier against a decision by Flemish public transport authority De Lijn to buy 146 new trams from the Spanish manufacturer CAF.

Last year the Council of State annulled the decision to buy from CAF, on the grounds that CAF and Bombardier had not been treated equally on the question of calculating the worth of preventive maintenance. In June 2016, Bombardier lifted its objection over the first tranche of 24 low-floor trams by CAF, while there appeared to be a possibility the two companies could work on the order together.

That possibility came to nothing and Bombardier revived its case before the Council of State. The decision has now led to a delay of nine months in completing the order of 146 trams, at a cost of €320 million.

De Lijn said the Council of State had confirmed the authority’s tendering procedures had been carried out properly. Under European law, orders over a certain value must be opened up to tender by any company within the EU, including foreign-owned companies like Bombardier that are established here.

CAF won the contract on price terms, De Lijn said. “Taken globally, purchase, maintenance and energy consumption were 5% more advantageous,” the company said.

“This ruling allows us to go ahead with ordering the new trams,” De Lijn CEO Roger Kesteloot said. “That allows us to go ahead with renewing our tram fleet, in the first place by replacing 24 coast trams.”

Photo courtesy De Lijn

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1 comment
John SnowAs it should be. The purpose of bidded goods and services is to ensure a benefit to the people who ultimately pay for these goods and services not to benefit commercial entities.

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