Last week, Metro announced that it had received delivery of a new train, the first of a batch of new light rail vehicles (LRVs) scheduled to arrive in town.
Gilbert Garcia, METRO board chairman, said the light-rail Siemens S70 represents a savings of almost a year’s time in getting optimal service to our riders. METRO was able to do this by exercising a contract option with the Utah Transit Authority when it “piggybacked” in an inter-agency agreement to procure the light-rail cars from Siemens.
“These units will help us offer timely and comfortable trips,” said Garcia.
This train is the first of 19 light-rail trains METRO secured in an $83 million contract.
George Greanias, METRO president & CEO, called it a great day for METRO.
“METRORail has a very busy fleet, which this year surpassed 90 million boardings. The new units will take the strain off those already in service and provide more flexibility to our current system,” said Greanias.
Step inside, and you’ll see more standing room and a bike rack that allows a passenger to secure his or her bike upright vertically. Each car will also be equipped with two designated wheelchair spaces. A knee-to-back seating arrangement and a big standing area, with extra hand straps and grab bars, maximize interior space, designed for about 200 passengers.
Train No. 201 is expected to be operational sometime after Jan. 1, said Scott Grogan, senior director of METRORail Service Delivery. Purchasing these 19 Siemens cars would allow us to operate two-car trains all day on our Main Street line.
There’s video at the link above, and more pictures in the accompanying press release, which says there will be two bike racks in each car, one at the front and one at the rear. You know how I feel about bikes on trains, so I sent an inquiry about whether this meant that the hours for which bikes are currently allowed on the trains, which begin at 9 AM, will be extended. The response I received was as follows:
There is no change to the hours currently in effect. We will be evaluating the situation as the new vehicles come on line, however, to see if there is an opportunity to add hours for bike boardings without compromising passenger safety. The remaining Siemens units will be delivered and put into service over the next year.
I remain hopeful.