Philadelphia, United States (Urban Transport News): The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has signed a contract with the French multinational Alstom to procure 130 full low floor electric streetcars valued at over US$718.2 million (approximately €667 million), with options to supply an additional 30 streetcars. The agreement calls for the delivery of fully customised, sustainable, next-generation Citadis light rail vehicles (LRVs) specifically designed for North America and made to navigate the historic streets of Philadelphia.
The new Citadis streetcars will provide an energy-efficient mobility solution that utilises state-of-the-art, service-proven traction technology and offers a 20% reduction in energy consumption compared to a standard light rail solution. Additionally, energy efficiency is achieved by integrating LED lights and sensor-based air-conditioning, and each vehicle is 99% recyclable at the end of its 30-year lifespan.
The cars will feature 100 percent full low floors with wider aisles to facilitate passenger movement and accessibility, ramps at all doors for disabled access, audio and visual messaging systems to inform and communicate upcoming stops and service changes to passengers and metro-style seating characterised by flexible interiors that accommodate larger items while adjusting to capacity, demand and need, as well as designated spaces for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers, and bicycles. The new streetcars will also help SEPTA provide a faster and more reliable service that carries more passengers, uses less energy, reaches more destinations, and above all, provides equitable service for everyone.
“We are proud to be selected by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to build and supply 130 next-generation LRVs. The new Citadis streetcars will bring more efficient accessible and equitable service to the people of Philadelphia’s metropolis, as they will replace the existing SEPTA fleet that dates from the 80’s. We are thrilled with the opportunity to serve over 80,000 daily riders with a more accessible, comfortable, and modern experience,” said Michael Keroullé, President, Alstom Americas.
SEPTA’s seven trolley lines run for 68 miles and connect communities in west, southwest and north Philadelphia and Delaware County directly with the region’s two largest employment and healthcare centres, Center City and University City. The current trolley vehicles have served riders since the early 1980s.
The streetcars will be manufactured in the United States, at Alstom’s Hornell facility in upstate New York, which has years of proven experience and the established capabilities necessary to meet “Buy America” requirements. Alstom has invested extensively in the Hornell site over the past few years, including the construction of a stainless-steel car body shell manufacturing facility to localise car body shell production, which will provide greater quality control over the entire production process for SEPTA. Additionally, Alstom will manufacture the advanced propulsion system for the streetcars at its North American centre of excellence for advanced propulsion technology research and development and engineering in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.
Alstom’s Citadis range of low-floor trams and light rail vehicles offers modern and energy-efficient transportation for cities. With a wide variety of solutions for catenary-free operation, Citadis products are especially suited for new lines and urban renewal projects. Since the first tram entered service in 2000, Citadis trams have covered over 1 billion kilometres and transported 10 billion passengers. More than 3,000 Citadis vehicles have been ordered or are already in successful revenue service in 70 cities – including Paris, Nice, Caen, Nantes, Frankfurt, Rotterdam, Dublin, Barcelona, Athens, Dubai, Lusail, Casablanca and Sydney – in more than 20 countries.