Starting this year, Muni is set to begin receiving the first of its 260 new rail cars. Some of the trains, which the Chronicle reports are made by German company Siemens and are being assembled in Sacramento, should be in service by the end of 2017. The $1.2 billion purchase will allow for the phasing out of the current Breda cars — which, according to the paper, were purchased in 1996 and are considered unreliable.
"The new cars will have more reliable passenger doors, better visibility from the operator cab, and an enhanced braking system," explains the SFMTA. "They’ll also require less maintenance so that we can dedicate more time to providing quality service. And there will be more of them." More trains, of course, mean longer cars and reduced crowding.
“We took a long view,” SFMTA's transit director John Haley explained to the paper. “We’re not just replacing the fleet we have; we’re looking toward the future. It will be a quantum leap forward in terms of reliability."
In regard to that reliability, the current trains reportedly travel 4,000-5,000 miles between each failure. The new trains? They're expected to travel around 59,000 miles between failures.
This of course is all happening at the same time that Muni is receiving a new set of electric trolley buses (that can totally climb hills), and BART is getting 775 brand new trains. It seems that a new San Francisco public transit age may be upon us. Now if only they can figure out that whole "on time" thing.
Previously: Muni's New Light Rail Fleet By The Numbers
Mayor Lee To Take $648 Million Muni Ride Friday Morning