News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

San Francisco Secures $45 Million From State to Expand Muni Train Fleet

Award from California Cap-And-Trade Revenues Will Fund Procurement of Muni’s Modernized Light Rail Vehicles to Better Meet Ridership Demand

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

“This funding represents a key investment in San Francisco’s transit infrastructure as the City works to expand and replace its current light rail vehicle fleet, shorten travel times, and keep the system in a state of good repair. The funding will also help to address current and future capacity needs, drive smart growth and development to the City’s rail corridors, and increase transportation services for riders of all income levels,” said Mayor Lee. “I thank Governor Jerry Brown, California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly, and State legislative leaders for this important funding, and ask for continued support as San Francisco makes further investments in a safer, more reliable, and more efficient transportation network.”

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.

“These additional vehicles will bring a once-in-a-generation improvement for people riding Muni and we thank the State for the further support,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “By the year 2040, it is estimated that Muni will carry more than one million rides a day. These new, state-of-the-art vehicles will provide additional capacity to support 250,000 trips and increase transit connectivity for millions of people throughout the Bay Area.”

The SFMTA has awarded a contract to Siemens to manufacture Muni’s next generation of LRVs. The contract for $648 million includes 150 vehicles to replace the existing fleet, as well as multiple options for fleet expansion. State TIRCP funds will be matched with $166 million in local and regional funding sources.

The first LRVs are set to be delivered by the end of 2016 and will be placed into service in 2017.