The Metropolitan Council chose Siemens on Wednesday to manufacture new light rail vehicles for the Southwest LRT Project (SWLRT), which will expand access to more than 200,000 jobs located along the corridor.
The Council’s action authorizes Siemens to begin engineering the updates for the light rail vehicles. Siemens provided the existing Green Line vehicles five years ago – the new SWLRT vehicles will be improved versions of the Green Line cars, including improvements for users of wheelchairs and passenger with disabilities. They will be compatible with the existing Green Line vehicles. A full list of improvements can be found below.
Modifying the existing vehicle design, compared with developing a brand new design, will save money by reducing the amount of training needed for existing operators and maintenance staff, and by reducing storage space needed for parts, tools and future vehicle overhauls.
“While this step forward is a technical one, it embodies the planning and work that has gone into SWLRT,” said Met Council Chair Adam Duininck. “We continue to build upon our knowledge and investments, making SWLRT and future transit lines more efficient, while improving service for the tens of thousands of Minnesotans who will use it to access jobs and opportunity. As we seek to continue investing and building out our regional transit network, it is critical we find opportunities like these for future cost savings in operations and maintenance.”