SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – Nearly all the trains in the San Francisco Municipal Railway’s fleet of light rail vehicles are undergoing a makeover thanks in part to $9 million in federal stimulus funds, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced.

On Thursday, the SFMTA, which operates Muni, unveiled the first of 143 light rail vehicles to be refurbished in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

As part of a $56 million contract awarded last September to rehabilitate all but eight trains in the 151-vehicle fleet, 143 Breda light rail vehicles will have their doors and step systems rebuilt and will be restored to their original operating specifications.

Other mechanical systems, including air supply units and the coupling systems that join trains, will also be rebuilt as part of the reconditioning project.

Shuttling about 20 percent of Muni’s total ridership, the light rail vehicles carry more than 160,000 boardings each weekday, according to the SFMTA.

At a time when budget shortfalls have resulted in reduced service and longer waiting times across the system, the SFMTA says restoring the trains will help it do more with less.

The rehabilitation project is expected improve vehicle availability, service reliability and performance, according to the SFMTA.

“Muni and our entire transportation system must be capable of serving new generations of residents and visitors who will depend on it to get where they want to go in this transit-first city,” SFMTA Executive Director and CEO Nathaniel Ford said in a statement.

The first rehabilitated vehicle was undergoing inspection by SFMTA personnel to ensure the work meets quality standards before the contractor can proceed with work on the remaining 142 vehicles, which entered service between 1997 and 2003.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. Harrison says:

    So essentially MUNI hasn’t been keeping its riders safe all these years by altering their budget so they could afford basic repairs? They just wait until Uncle Sam gives them some money? That’s great news.

    “143 Breda light rail vehicles will have their doors and step systems rebuilt and will be restored to their original operating specifications.”

  2. Jaycy says:

    What else is new? Next thing will be to blame the drivers for anything that goes wrong, cut their pay and save money for managers bonuses as usual.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE