/PRNewswire/ -- Siemens Industry, Inc. today announced that it has been awarded a $17.2 million contract from Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), on behalf of the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, to provide Atlanta with four new streetcars. The first car is expected to be delivered in September 2012 with revenue service beginning in early 2013. These will be the first streetcars in Atlanta since 1949 and will mark Siemens entry into the streetcar market in the United States.
"The Atlanta Streetcar project will keep the City of Atlanta competitive with other cities by improving our transit connectivity, boosting our tourism industry, helping local businesses, and building a more sustainable future," Mayor Reed said. "Our agreement with Siemens will ensure that we have modern, world-class vehicles along the route to serve Atlanta residents and visitors for years to come."
The streetcars will be built at Siemens' railcar and locomotive plant in Sacramento, Calif., an operation powered primarily by two megawatts of solar energy. Additionally, major components including the propulsion system will be built at Siemens manufacturing facility in the metro-Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta.
"An investment in the core of the city, in Downtown Atlanta, is good for all of the metropolitan area," said Craig Jones, Executive Vice President & Chief Investment Officer with Cousins Properties, Inc. "In just 4 years we've seen a complete transformation in One Ninety One Peachtree Tower as well as along the rest of the Peachtree corridor with new restaurants, retail, office, tenants and now the Atlanta Streetcar. We're proud to be a part of this resurgence."
Streetcars are part of the first phase of Atlanta's project to create a comprehensive, regional streetcar and light rail transit system. The streetcars will initially run in a loop, bridging the gap between east and west downtown that was formed by the development of the I-75/85 connector. The new system will provide connectivity for the core of downtown Atlanta, improving accessibility to key business destinations and event venues. The system will also serve as the catalyst for transit oriented development within the loop.
"Siemens is a firm with a proven track record and an exceptional product. At MARTA, it is exciting to work with our partners to introduce this new generation of modern, low-floor rail transit to the greater Atlanta region," said Dr. Beverly A. Scott, General Manager and CEO, MARTA. "This streetcar starter line serves the historic Martin Luther King Center and connects to MARTA and the heart of the Capitol city at Peachtree Center."
The four new streetcars are based on the proven Siemens S70 light rail vehicle platform, which was designed in the United States and is in operation in cities such as Houston, Charlotte, San Diego, Portland and Salt Lake City. The streetcars were purchased through an existing contract with the Utah Transit Authority and will be customized to meet Atlanta's operating environment. The streetcars are fully upgradeable for future light rail operation as the regional system grows.
"Siemens S70 streetcar was designed for and will be built right here in the United States," said Daryl Dulaney, President and CEO of Siemens Industry, Inc. "We look forward to working with the city of Atlanta to provide a safe, efficient and versatile means to connect within the City that will help residents and visitors get where they need to go now and in the future."
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