Friday October 17, 2014
The first pilot car was delivered on time by Kinkisharyo International, which will assemble all light rail vehicles for the Metro order in Palmdale, Calif.
"This pilot car is the vanguard of our expanding rail fleet. It will undergo extensive testing over a period of months and the results will be passed on to Kinkisharyo for analysis before moving forward with Metro's initial order of 78 production vehicles," said Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The base order of 78 rail cars was augmented after Metro exercised an option to purchase an additional 97 vehicles for a total cost of $739 million. Metro has two more options pending for an additional 60 rail vehicles. All cars in the base order of 78 are destined for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension to Azusa and the Metro Expo Line Phase II extension to Santa Monica that are currently under construction with expected completion by summer 2016. The option cars will be used on the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Line and the Metro Blue Line.
"Kinkisharyo has an excellent on-time performance and the company has committed to delivering the first production unit by summer 2015," said Metro CEO Art Leahy. "All 78 vehicles in the base order are scheduled to be in service by January of 2017."
The El Segundo-based Kinkisharyo International, the U.S. arm of Kinki Sharyo Co. LTD or Osaka, Japan, was awarded a contract by Metro in August 2012. The rail cars are partially constructed in Japan and shipped to Kinkisharyo's facility in Palmdale for final assembly in compliance with Buy America contract provisions. An estimated workforce of 250 persons will be hired in the Antelope Valley to meet Metro's order.
"Today's delivery of the first light rail vehicle under the P3010 program demonstrates Kinkisharyo's continuing commitment to giving Los Angeles cars that are high quality, on time, on weight, and on budget, and will serve L.A. County transit riders for decades to come," said Teiji Tani, president of Kinkisharyo International, LLC. "We have forged a strong partnership with Metro, and we expect that this contract will further our reputation as the best light rail vehicle manufacturer in America."
Purchase of the rail cars and expansion of the Gold and Expo lines are largely funded by Los Angeles County Measure R, a half-cent sales tax passed by 2 million voters in 2008, with additional funding from state and federal sources. Currently, Metro Rail has 88 miles of track with 80 stations and has an average of 360,000 weekday boardings. In addition to the extension of the Gold and Expo Lines, Metro is currently in construction on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Line and the Downtown Light Rail Regional Connector with the Purple Line Extension to Westwood set to begin construction soon. Also, Metro is currently in the midst of a multi-year overhaul of the Blue Line that connects Long Beach and Los Angeles.
The Kinkisharyo P3010 is a highly advanced stainless steel vehicle specifically designed to support Metro's complex system expansion requirements. It is a 6-axle articulated design that seats 68 persons and is capable of operating on all Metro's existing light rail lines.
Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and it is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County. Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.
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