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Procurement FAQs

We answer some frequently asked questions about becoming a Foothill Transit vendor and how our procurement team purchases goods and services for the agency.

GENERAL INFORMATION

What does Foothill Transit buy?
Where can I find an up-to-date list of goods and services Foothill Transit plans to procure?
How do I bid or propose on Foothill Transit procurements?
How does Foothill Transit purchase goods and services?

VENDOR REGISTRATION

Is there a fee to register and become a vendor for Foothill Transit?
Do I have to be a registered vendor before I can obtain specific information regarding an upcoming solicitation?
What is a Vendor Profile?
What if I have more than one sales office?
What is a NAICS code?
How do I choose NAICS codes for my Vendor Profile?
How do I add or change the NAICS codes that I have selected for my Vendor Profile?

BIDDING OR PROPOSING ON FOOTHILL TRANSIT CONTRACT OPPORTUNITIES

What is a solicitation?
How do I obtain an addendum to the solicitation package?
Can bids be faxed?
Where can I find Foothill Transit’s Terms and Conditions?
What if I have an unique project or idea that I’d like Foothill Transit to consider?

GENERAL INFORMATION

What does Foothill Transit buy?

Foothill Transit is a public transit agency that provides transit services for the population of the San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Valley in Los Angeles County. Foothill Transit purchases goods and services necessary to provide that service and also to sustain Foothill Transit’s administrative operations in support of its transit service.

Among other things, Foothill Transit contracts for the purchase of:

Where can I find an up-to-date list of goods and services Foothill Transit plans to procure?

Foothill Transit uses a fully automated web-based vendor registration and bid management system. A list of current and past purchasing opportunities is available at http://www.foothilltransit.org/business/contract-opportunities/.

How do I bid or propose on Foothill Transit procurements?

Foothill Transit’s fully automated vendor registration and bid management system allows vendors to register online, receive solicitations via email, and use additional automated services. All you need to do is complete the online registration form for your vendor profile and submit your bid. You will automatically be included in Foothill Transit’s vendor database.

How does Foothill Transit purchase goods and services?

The procedures Foothill Transit uses for a particular purchase will depend on

  1. For procurements for goods and services over $75,000, Foothill Transit generally will publish a formal solicitation via its electronic procurement system that takes one of three forms – an Invitation for Bids (IFB), a Request for Proposals (RFP), or a Request for Qualifications (RFQ).
    • An Invitation for Bids (IFB) is used for public works/construction projects and for the procurement of goods or services. Foothill Transit will make an award based on the lowest price, responsive bid that meets all the technical requirements of the procurement.This procedure is utilized for all public works projects over $6,500, because state law requires Foothill Transit to award public works projects over $6,500 to the lowest-in-price responsive, responsible bidder.
    • A Request for Proposals (RFP) is used when Foothill Transit is purchasing goods or services that can be described by performance specifications or when Foothill Transit finds it necessary to engage in discussions with proposers or base a contract award on factors other than price. A contract is awarded based on best-value – a determination based on a balance of technical evaluation factors described in the RFP and pricing.
    • A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is used for the procurement of architectural and engineering services and related services, like program management, construction management, preliminary engineering, and design. A contract is awarded based on qualifications only, not price.
  2. For procurement of goods and services (excluding public works) under $75,000, Foothill Transit utilizes an informal procurement method. These purchases are generally carried out by issuing a Request for Quotes. Foothill Transit will draw upon its vendor database in soliciting quotes, so it is critical that vendors interested in doing business with Foothill Transit register in its vendor database.

For any procurement, all bids or proposals or quotes must be responsive and responsible.

They are responsive if they meet requirements set forth in the IFB , RFQ, or RFP (such as technical specifications, delivery schedule, and warranty).

They are responsive if the bidder/proposer is responsible on a number of factors, including but not limited to adequacy of financial resources, a satisfactory record of integrity and ethics, compliance with applicable licensing laws, and a satisfactory record of performance.

VENDOR REGISTRATION

Is there a fee to register and become a vendor for Foothill Transit?

No, it is free to register. There is generally no cost to propose, but some bids or procurements may require the purchase of a bid bond or the possession of other minimum requirements, such as certain minimum levels of commercial insurance.

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

Yes, you must be a registered vendor in our system to obtain specific information regarding solicitations, receive addenda, and submit bids. You do not have to register to view open solicitations.

What is a Vendor Profile?

A Vendor Profile is information provided by companies when they register with Foothill Transit’s online system. Your profile should contain your business name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address. You will also be asked for your business type, ownership information, and the commodity or services you provide. This information helps Foothill Transit notify you of relevant solicitations.

What if I have more than one sales office?

You will be able to provide the address for one corporate office and a separate mailing address if you have an office in another location.

What is a NAICS code?

An NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code is a code used for classifying businesses based on the activities in which they are primarily engaged. Foothill Transit uses NAICS codes to identify the categories into which your primary services or products fit. When publishing a solicitation, Foothill Transit will identify NAICS codes relevant to that situation.

How do I choose NAICS codes for my Vendor Profile?

Choose a category or categories that describe what you sell. Then select the NAICS codes that best describe the goods and/or services you provide.

How do I add or change the NAICS codes that I have selected for my Vendor Profile?

To make a change to the NAICS codes or any other part of your vendor profile, you must access the “Edit Profile” screen in the Vendor Registration Section.

BIDDING OR PROPOSING ON FOOTHILL TRANSIT CONTRACT OPPORTUNITIES

What is a solicitation?

A solicitation is Foothill Transit’s request or invitation to vendors registered within a specific NAICS code asking for submissions of bids or proposals. A list of current and past solicitations is available on our website at http://www.foothilltransit.org/business/contract-opportunities/.

How do I obtain an addendum to the solicitation package?

Addenda to solicitations available for online bids or proposals are sent by email to all registered companies with vendor profiles that include relevant NAICS codes.

Can bids be faxed?

All bids must be delivered to Foothill Transit as described in the bid document instructions. Foothill Transit typically requires the submission of a paper package by the bid or proposal deadline in order to comply with California law.

Where can I find Foothill Transit’s Terms and Conditions?

Foothill Transit’s Terms and Conditions are specific for each type of contract but will generally be provided in a draft contract with each solicitation.

What if I have an unique project or idea that I’d like Foothill Transit to consider?

Foothill Transit usually seeks out goods or services based on a plan of its own need. Foothill Transit may also consider procuring goods or services when an independent entity, without initiation from Foothill Transit, sends it a proposal for goods or services (called an “unsolicited proposal”).

The receipt of an unsolicited proposal does NOT, by itself, justify a contract award without full competition. If the unsolicited proposal offers a proprietary concept that is unique and essential to contract performance, Foothill Transit may make a sole source award.

A unsolicited proposal is not:

Please forward your proposal to procurement@foothilltransit.org. Foothill Transit will evaluate the unsolicited proposal, and make a determination whether it is in the agency’s interest to procure the good or service. If Foothill Transit judges it to be unique and innovative, the agency may pursue a sole source. If the product can be acquired competitively in the marketplace, Foothill Transit may issue a request for competitive proposals.