As the first phase of a major rehabilitation project for the San Diego system's Blue and Orange lines, these modern low-floor Siemens S70 vehicles will provide level boarding for all riders, making entering and exiting much easier and safer than on high-floor cars. The 57 new vehicles will replace some of the 134 light rail vehicles in operation on the MTS lines. Eleven S70 vehicles have been in operation in San Diego since 2005.
Each new car will provide seating for 60 people with all seats facing the middle of the vehicle. Siemens vehicles have provided transportation for San Diego area residents since 1981.
"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 new, low-floor vehicles will be built at Siemens' solar-powered manufacturing plant in Sacramento. 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.
"This is a major purchase of new vehicles and allows MTS to bring the convenience of low-floor light rail vehicles to our entire system," said Mathis. "It also marks the beginning of a rehabilitation project for our Blue and Orange lines to significantly enhance our operations and customer experience."
A part of Siemens Industry, Inc. (SII), Siemens Mobility (MO) Division is a leading provider of transportation and logistics solutions.