L.A. Metro is buying rail cars from Japan, is it sending jobs there too?

May 1, 2012

Airport Link testing. A Kinkisharyo-Mitsui LRV is parked on the elevated guideway that leads to SeaTac/Airport station a short distance from Tukwila International Boulevard Station. November, 2009. Kinkisharyo International was just awarded Los Angeles’ rail car contract. Credit: Oran Viriyincy/Flickr/Creative Commons

Los Angeles Metro officials are awarding an $890-million rail car contract to the Japanese firm Kinkisharyo International and L.A. Labor isn’t happy about it.

Unions including the Urban League and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference-Los Angeles say that the decision will create fewer jobs than a competing bidder like Siemens Inc., which has a factory in Sacramento and would create up to 1,122 jobs, open a factory in Los Angeles, and invest $5 million in job-training programs.

Metro says they chose Kinkisharyo because it offered the best price, project management, and time-frame. Kinkisharyo also says they’ll build a local plant to produce the 235 cars for the Crenshaw, Expo and Gold lines, among others.

Guest host David Lazarus gets the details on the deal and whether it will outsource tax payer-funded jobs overseas.


Dan Weikel, staff writer, Los Angeles Times

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