MTS Procurement - Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What is MTS?

A: Click here to learn more about the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS).


Q: What goods and services does MTS buy?

A: MTS contracts for the purchase of goods and services necessary to sustain its operation. This is everything from office supplies, buses, bus parts, light rail vehicles (LRV), LRV parts, shop equipment and supplies, consultant services to construction work. The MTS commodity list provides the broad range of goods and services we buy.


Q: Where do I begin?

A: MTS has implemented BidsOnLine™, a fully automated web-based vendor registration and bid management system. This system allows vendors to register online, receive solicitations via email, and utilize additional automated services. Simply complete the online registration form and submit. You will automatically be included in the MTS vendor database.


Q: Is there a fee to register and become a vendor for MTS?

A: No, there is no cost to register.


Q: Do I have to be a registered vendor before I can obtain specific information regarding upcoming solicitation?

A: Yes, you must be a registered vendor in MTS’s BidsOnLine™ system to obtain specific information regarding solicitations, receive addenda, and submit bids. You do not have to register to view open solicitations, receive information about upcoming events, obtain Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification information, view FAQs, and read MTS’s terms and conditions.


Q: What is a Vendor Profile?

A: A Vendor Profile is information provided by companies when they register with BidsOnLine (BOL), which identifies their business name, address, telephone, fax number, email address. It also describes their business type, ownership information as well as the commodity or services they perform. Companies register and create a Vendor Profile in MTS’s database to obtain specific information regarding solicitations, receiving addenda and submitting bids.


Q: What if I have more than one sales office?

A: The vendor registration allows you to identify the address for one corporate office and another for mailing address, if it is a different location.


Q: What is a commodity code?

A: A commodity code is a classification system internal to MTS that identifies, by categories, the primary services or products offered a company.


Q: How do I choose commodities for my Vendor Profile?

A: Choose a category or categories that describe what you sell. Then select the commodities which best describe the goods and/or service you provide.


Q: How do I add or change the commodities I have selected for my Vendor Profile?

A: To make a change to the commodity codes as well as any change to a vendor profile, you must access the “Edit Profile” screen in the Vendor Registration Section.


Q: What is a solicitation?

A: A solicitation is the request or invitation by MTS to vendors registered within a specific commodity code(s) asking them to submit a bid/offer to perform a particular work or service.


Q: How do I obtain an addendum to the solicitation package?

A: Addenda to solicitations that are available for online bidding will be sent via email to all registered companies with vendor profile that includes commodity codes applicable to the solicitation.


Q: Can bids be faxed?

A: Bids must be returned to MTS in accordance with the instructions to bidders contained within the bid document.


Q: What is the difference between Informal and Formal Procurements?

A: Formal Procurements are purchases and services in excess of $100,000, or Public Works/Construction contracts in excess of $50,000 and are required to be publicly advertised for bid. Informal Procurements are those less in value and are not required to be publicly advertised. Public Works/Construction Procurement that exceed $50,000 in aggregate, are subject to specific procurement and prevailing wage requirements. Among other things, when obtaining bids, labor (wages) must be bid by the Contractor in accordance with the most recent State and Federal prevailing wage rates. In addition to Insurance requirements as noted below, performance and/or payment bonding may also be required.


Q: Where can I find MTS’s Terms and Conditions?

A: MTS Terms and Conditions are specific for each type of contract but fall into three broad areas: materials, supplies and equipment; services (including professional services); and public works/construction. Terms and Conditions are appended to each solicitation. For general guidance, MTS is required by state law to require prevailing wage (contracts over $1,000) compliance on many public works/construction contracts. It is also MTS policy to require insurance on all public works/construction contracts, service contracts, and some contracts for materials supplies and equipment. For more details, click on the “Terms and Conditions” above.

For more information regarding Public Works/Construction, click here.

Q: What will be the benefits to MTS and vendors using BidsOnLine?

A: Vendors will be able to access the system at their convenience, making MTS procurement process a 24-hour operation. Also, both MTS and vendors will save time, money, and paperwork by the implementation of BidsOnLine™ (BOL).


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