SFMTA's Board of Directors is expected to approve the contract, worth at least $1.1 billion, on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to give its own approval in September.
John Haley, SFMTA director of Muni operations, said the first 24 vehicles would begin arriving in 2016. "This really is the big one, in terms of taking it a step forward to improve the heart of our system, which is the rail system," Haley said to local media.
An option to add 85 more vehicles is part of the plan, but funding for those cars has not yet been identified.
The current order is funded from federal, state, and local sources out of the Central Subway project budget.
The Central Subway will extend the Muni's T-Third light rail line under Stockton and Fourth streets, from the downtown Caltrain station to Chinatown. Underground stops are being built at Moscone Center and Union Square. The Central Subway is scheduled to begin revenue service in 2019. SFMTA last month marked completion of tunneling work required for the project.
Siemens will assemble the light rail vehicles at its Sacramento, Calif., facility.