The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced a major expansion of Muni’s fleet by purchasing an additional 40 Siemens light rail vehicles to improve reliability and safety.

In addition to the 175 Muni next generation of light rail vehicles approved last year, this purchase will allow Muni to address capacity needs as San Francisco’s population and Muni ridership continue to grow, further improve transit reliability and bolster the economy since Siemens will manufacture the vehicles in their Sacramento facility with the first cars operational by the end of 2016.

The SFMTA board of directors voted last week to proceed with the contract option to purchase these 40 new light rail vehicles (LRV). Anticipated final actions by the SFMTA board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in the coming weeks will secure funding.

The 40 LRVs, including engineering and other soft costs, will total $210 million. The SFMTA will seek up to $153 million in California cap-and-trade funds and will seek funding authority from the SFMTA board of directors for $57 million. In the event cap and trade funds request is not met, the MTC is expected to partner with the SFMTA to guarantee funds to bridge the gap. This is the first of two options for an additional 85 cars, bringing the overall total to 260 cars.

The advancement in purchase of the additional trains comes just four months after the awarding of the initial contract with Siemens for $648 million to add 175 new and improved Muni light rail vehicles to the fleet that will improve reliability and safety. The contract, which was unanimously supported by the board of supervisors, is the largest light rail contract to be awarded in modern U.S. history. It will help shape the future of San Francisco’s public transportation as the city prioritizes improving the Muni fleet and investing in transportation infrastructure across the San Francisco.

Muni’s new LRV model, called the S200 SF Light Rail Vehicle is a hybrid creation, combining the best elements from both Siemens’ successful high-floor and low-floor light rail platforms, more than 1,300 of which are currently in operation. The vehicles vastly exceed the reliability targets required by the agency and provide an improved, more reliable passenger door system with fewer moving parts that will also require less maintenance.

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