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FAQs: Doing Business With the MTA

Updated Oct 12, 2018
What does the MTA buy? From whom does it buy goods and services?

Some of the MTA's procurements are for complex, specialized transportation equipment, but like any large organization, we also need office supplies, consulting services, paint, uniforms – practically anything you can think of. We buy from small vendors and multinational corporations.

Our Procurement Categories have recently changed. What we purchase 

Is selling to the MTA complicated?

It's no more than doing business with any other large corporation. Each contract is detailed and contains specifications and requirements that vendors must meet.

Will I be paid promptly for my work?

Yes. The MTA adheres to strict New York State regulations requiring that, generally, vendors be paid within 30 days for services or goods. We know how vital it is to be able to predict cash flow, and we want to make doing business with us as productive as possible.

How do I become a vendor to the MTA?

My MTA Portal is where you can register to become a vendor to the MTA. Get more information

You may also submit a paper form to get on the Bidders List, a computerized record of vendors who supply the goods and services we often need.

It's important to know that even though your firm's name is placed on a Bidders List, this doesn't guarantee that you'll automatically receive a solicitation to bid every time the kinds of goods or services you provide are needed. To be sure that you're aware of opportunities to bid on MTA contracts, search the New York State Contract Reporter and New York-area newspapers for advertisements of upcoming bid opportunities.

How will I hear about upcoming opportunities?

To reach as many potential vendors as possible, the MTA uses several different ways of announcing bid opportunities.

  • My MTA Portal
    My MTA Portal for vendors is where you can search for public Procurement Events across all agencies. Once registered, you can submit bid documents electronically using the portal and perform other self-service tasks.
  • You May Be Contacted
    If you're on a Bidders List, you may be contacted directly when we need the goods and services you supply. However, being on a Bidders List does not guarantee that you will receive all bids and RFPs.
  • Check the Newspapers
    Advertisements announcing most of our purchasing needs appear in New York-area newspapers, which may include The New York Times, the Daily News, the New York Post, El Diario, and the Daily Challenge, as well as trade publications.
  • The Primary Source: the "New York State Contract Reporter"
    All advertised bid solicitations appear in the New York State Contract Reporter. For subscription information, write or call:

    New York State Contract Reporter

  • Request 'An Eye on the Future'
    The MTA publishes "An Eye on the Future," which offers a look at capital program contracts to be awarded for professional services, construction, and equipment purchases. "An Eye on the Future" is issued twice yearly (January 1 and July 1) and contains project descriptions useful to potential vendors. Check out the online version, or request a copy and be placed on the mailing list by writing to:

    Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    Capital Program Management
    2 Broadway,
    New York, NY 10004

  • Consult our website
    MTA agencies and headquarters frequently post bid solicitations on this Web site.
How does the procurement process work?

We solicit bids and proposals in three ways:

  1. Informal Solicitation
    When we're buying goods and services for under $10,000, we often contact vendors for bids by telephone or fax, rather than advertise. We turn to Bidders Lists and other sources to locate qualified suppliers.
  2. Invitation for Bid (IFB)
    An IFB is used to obtain bids when a contract is competitively bid. Vendors submit bids that are opened in a public forum at the location, date, and time specified in the IFB; the contract is awarded to the qualified vendor submitting the lowest bid. IFBs are usually for goods or trade services (such as computer hardware and construction). IFBs over $10,000 are advertised; suppliers on the Bidders List may be notified by mail or by telephone.

  3. Request for Proposal (RFP)
    We send RFPs to obtain proposals when a contract is competitively negotiated. A selection committee evaluates the proposals and, based on the selection criteria set forth in the RFP, negotiates with proposers before making a selection and awarding a contract. RFPs are typically for professional services(economic consulting, systems design, management services, architectural and engineering services) and major equipment purchases such as rolling stock.

Who is my contact at the MTA?

The MTA agencies and MTA headquarters maintain specialized departments to conduct the procurement process.

How does the MTA decide who gets a contract?

The procedures for making contract awards differ depending on whether the contract is based on an informal solicitation, an IFB, or an RFP. Informal solicitations usually are awarded based on the lowest quote, but may specify another basis for award. IFBs are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. This means that while competitive price is the critical factor, the MTA will also determine if the lowest bidder can responsibly fulfill the contract. Delivery performance, quality, and ability to meet bid specifications are all important considerations in evaluating a bidder's level of responsiveness.

For contracts based on RFPs, a number of criteria are considered. These are specified for each contract and may include competitive pricing, demonstrated ability to fulfill the contract, quality of samples, previous experience, and contract performance. The MTA may choose to negotiate with one or more vendors as part of the RFP process