The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System board has unanimously approved the award of a contract worth $205.2 million to Siemens for the supply 57 S70 model low-floor light rail vehicles over a two-year period. The new cars will replace some of the 134 vehicles now in operation on the MTS lines. Eleven S70 vehicles have been in operation in San Diego since 2005.
“In deliberations leading up to its unanimous vote of approval for the purchase, the board expressed high praise for the quality of Siemens vehicles, which have provided transportation for millions of San Diego area residents since 1981,” said the Oct. 7 announcement.
“Ever since we introduced low-floor cars on the Green Line, people have wanted them throughout the system,” said Harry Mathis, chairman of the MTS board of directors. “The new vehicles will allow us to phase out cars that we purchased over 30 years ago and realize significant maintenance cost savings.”
“This is the company’s largest order for the San Diego MTS,” said Oliver Hauck, Mobility Division CEO for Siemens Industry, Inc. “The board's enthusiastic comments about the Siemens light rail vehicles currently in operation on their tracks and unanimous approval of this contract clearly demonstrate our commitment to building high quality vehicles that meet and exceed the customer’s expectations for providing a safe, comfortable experience for passengers.”
The new orders will be built entirely at Siemens’ plant in Sacramento, Calif. The S70 model is 81 feet long, nine feet shorter than the trains that currently run on the MTS Green Line through Mission Valley between Old Town and Santee. The shorter trains will allow the use of three-car trains in downtown San Diego without blocking intersections and holding up traffic.