METRO still hopes to collect from Siemens for stray current expenses

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The Chronicle‘s Rad Sallee today reports METRO’s response to a letter from Siemens (noted in this post from last week) rejecting METRO’s insistence that the contractor reimburse METRO work related to the ongoing stray-current problem:

Despite receiving a refusal letter, Metro says it still intends to collect from the prime contractor on its MetroRail Red Line for the cost of efforts to prevent electrical current from leaking into the ground from the tracks.

In August, the Metropolitan Transit Authority billed Siemens Transportation Systems Inc. $917,400 for monitoring by Metro staff, pay to consultants and various tests related to the stray current problem from May 2005 to June 2006.


As for who pays, Siemens spokeswoman Xanthi Pinkerton said, “Basically we are still in negotiations with Metro,” and Metro spokeswoman Raequel Roberts said the talks “aren’t even close to being final.”

“To say they are not paying based on one letter is like calling a baseball game in the middle of the fifth inning,” Roberts said.

Perhaps, but that letter from Siemens suggests that METRO is about as likely to receive full payment of $900,000 from the “bill” it sent Siemens as Wayne Graham’s Rice Owls giving up a nine-run lead in the ninth inning to Sam Houston State! It’s probably not going to happen (but if it does, we’ll admit we were wrong).

Still, it’s nice that the transit organization’s PR pro could respond so rapidly to press/blog questions about that letter. It would be great if they could respond to public information requests so enthusiastically!

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