SAN FRANCISCO—Muni transportation in San Francisco upgraded with new metro cars on Friday, January 13. The cars arrived around 1:00 a.m. and are expected to make public transportation smoother, less noisy, and much safer in the city.

The life span of the cars is projected to last 59,000 miles, an improvement over the 5,000 miles that the current cars run for.

Siemens Industry, Inc, the manufacturer of the new Muni light rail vehicles, is a global company based in Washington, D.C. Last summer the SFMTA board approved several new features to the transportation units:

The front steps will raise independently for handicapped patrons, color was added to destination signs to make traveling easier, the technical system was upgraded to make transportation run smoother, easier control settings were implemented for operators, new radios were added to increase communication reliability, including a top of the line software upgrade. 

The new cars will be tested this year before running for the public, which is estimated to occur late in the summer.

There are currently 151 light rail vehicles, which will all be replaced, and added for a total of 215. The new cars will gradually be switched in to replace the old cars for about a decade until completion in 2028. The added rail cars will also serve the Central Subway System, which is set to open in 2019.

The Director of Transportation, Ed Reiskin, Muni Operations Director John Haley, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors President, London Breed, and President of the Rail Systems Divisions at Siemens USA, Michael Cahill, all joined together to celebrate the arrival of the cars.

“An incredible amount of work went into making sure these vehicles are going to work for us in San Francisco – for our riders, for our hills, for our environment on the streets,” said Reiskin. “So much detail went into making sure that we’re really going to get the performance, the comfort, the safety that we want in our system.”