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San Francisco secures $45m to expand light rail vehicles

Staff Writer |
Mayor Edwin M. Lee applauded the California State Transportation Agency for awarding $45 million in new cap-and-trade funds.

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This is part of the Transit and Intercity Rail Capacity Program (TIRCP) to allow for growth and modernization of San Francisco’s light rail vehicle (LRV) fleet.

In addition to improving the system’s safety and reliability, decreasing crowding, and increasing integration with regional operators like BART and Caltrain, the full fleet of new LRVs is expected to deliver 963,000 tons of greenhouse gas reductions over the life of the vehicles.

The $45 million award was among the largest Statewide from the highly-competitive program, which provides grants from California’s cap-and-trade auction proceeds to projects that reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions while advancing the state’s public transportation system.

The program also seeks to provide direct and meaningful benefits to disadvantaged communities. This year, of 41 applications from across California for TIRCP funding, 14 projects were ultimately selected and awarded a total of $390 million.

San Francisco was also awarded TIRCP funding in 2015, receiving $41 million for the LRV fleet.

This year’s award will fund an additional ten trains, meaning that 42 of the 64 planned expansion trains are now funded.

The new LRVs are being designed based on the feedback of more than 8,000 Muni riders, and will include a new seat configuration, new interior color schemes, new exterior design, and a host of other features.

Compared to the current LRV fleet, the new vehicles will last ten times longer before significant maintenance is required.

The new LRVs will also feature simplified door and step operations, which are the single biggest cause of delays on the system, will operate more quietly on the street, and will improve service for hundreds of thousands of daily riders.

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