Siemens Industry Inc. was awarded a $17.2 million contract from Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), on behalf of the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, to provide Atlanta with four new streetcars.
The first car is expected to be delivered in September 2012 with revenue service beginning in early 2013. These will be the first streetcars in Atlanta since 1949 and will mark Siemens entry into the streetcar market in the U.S.
The streetcars will be built at Siemens' railcar and locomotive plant in Sacramento, Calif., an operation powered primarily by two megawatts of solar energy. Additionally, major components including the propulsion system will be built at Siemens manufacturing facility in the metro-Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta.
Streetcars are part of the first phase of Atlanta's project to create a comprehensive, regional streetcar and light rail transit system. The streetcars will initially run in a loop, bridging the gap between east and west downtown that was formed by the development of the I-75/85 connector. The new system will provide connectivity for the core of downtown Atlanta, improving accessibility to key business destinations and event venues. The system will also serve as the catalyst for transit oriented development within the loop.
The four new streetcars are based on the Siemens S70 light rail vehicle platform, which was designed in the U.S. and is in operation in cities such as Houston, Charlotte, San Diego, Portland and Salt Lake City.
The streetcars were purchased through an existing contract with the Utah Transit Authority and will be customized to meet Atlanta's operating environment. The streetcars are fully upgradeable for future light rail operation as the regional system grows.