Metro yesterday finally approved a $299 million deal to buy 78 light rail cars for current and future transit lines, after several previous deals fell through. The Daily News reports that the deal with Kinkisharyo, a Japanese-owned Massachusetts-based company, includes an option to buy an additional 157 rail cars for up to $591 million. The deal couldn't come soon enough as Metro needs many more vehicles, with both the Gold Line Foothill extension into Azusa and the Expo Line extension into Santa Monica opening by 2016 (it takes awhile to build and ship the rail cars). Metro also has to replace 69 old rail cars on the Blue Line that need to be out to pasture by 2018 (many Expo riders grumbled that the new line's rail cars are part of the Blue Line's white, boxy fleet, as opposed to the Gold Line's shiny futuristic AnsaldoBreda cars--AB backed out of a big rail car deal a few years back). Yesterday's deal was not without controversy, and possibly not without a lawsuit, as spurned companies like Siemens and CAF USA protested, saying Metro was sending work outside the country. Metro countered that Kinkisharyo is in the US and final installation of the rail cars will take place in LA County.
· Metro OKs $900M for new rail cars [Daily News]
· Check Out Metro's Possible New Rail Cars [Curbed LA]