SAN CARLOS (CBS/AP) — Caltrain has selected a Missouri-based company to operate the commuter rail line although it did not submit the lowest bid for the job.

Caltrain’s board unanimously agreed to a five-year deal with TransitAmerica on Thursday. The company will take over operation of the rail line from Amtrak at the start of 2012.

TransitAmerica has estimated it’s contract will cost Caltrain $399 million, which was the second-lowest that Caltrain received. Veolia, another company, submitted an offer that was $24 million lower.

But Caltrain spokesman Mark Simon said the contract with TransitAmerica is subject to negotiation and could eventually come in below the lowest bid. Simon also said Caltrain was looking at more than just cost; it wanted a company that could perform the best.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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