San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System Orders 25 Light Rail Vehicles.(Siemens)

  • New LRV’s will operate on Mid-Coast Trolley Extension
  • Completes the system’s transition to a fully low-floor fleet

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has awarded Siemens Mobility a contract for 25 S700 Low-floor Light Rail Vehicles. These cars will operate the entire 53-mile double-tracked MTS light rail network, including on the 11-mile Mid-Coast Trolley extension, which is scheduled to open in 2021. It will extend San Diego’s current Blue Line from the heart of downtown north to University of California San Diego and University Town Center. They will replace Siemens Mobility’s high-floor SD100 LRVs which were manufactured in the 1990s. This purchase and subsequent purchases will make San Diego’s fleet fully low-floor and accessible. Delivery of the new LRVs is expected in 2021.

Paul Jablonski, Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transit System, said:

“The standards and expectations for public transit continue to change and we are committed to meeting the needs of our current and future riders. “MTS operates one of the most efficient and reliable light rail systems in the US and a large part of our success is due to our long-standing working relationship with Siemens to provide best-of-class vehicles. The evolution of its light rail vehicles has been exceptional.”

Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens Mobility, said:

“Siemens Mobility’s relationship with San Diego began nearly 40 years ago in 1980. The Trolley, as it is affectionately known in the city, transports more than 40 million riders per year and these new vehicles will improve passenger experience by making them more accessible to all passengers and providing service on new stops along the expansion route for students, residents and tourists.”

The S700 cars are the latest advancement of the fully-electric S70 low-floor vehicle platform designed and manufactured by Siemens Mobility at its solar-powered facility in Sacramento, California. They are characterized by an open and spacious low-floor interior. The wide aisleway makes the vehicle much easier to traverse into and around for passengers, bicycles and wheelchairs. There are also energy efficiency features like LED lighting, which not only utilize less energy, but also last longer.

Siemens Mobility’s relationship with MTS began in 1980, with an order for 71 cars of their original high-floor U2 model. This was followed by an order in 1993 for 52 – SD100 cars. In 2004, with the passengers in mind, the leadership at MTS started transitioning to a low-floor car system with an order for 11 – S70 vehicles. The transition was continued 5 years later with a larger order for 65 – S70 cars, followed by another order for 45 – S70 vehicles, which are currently being delivered.