Houston METRO orders more Siemens light-rail vehicles

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) has ordered 14 light-rail vehicles (LRVs) from Siemens Mobility. The latest purchase marks Houston METRO's third order for Siemens Mobility vehicles, bringing the total number of S70 low-floor LRVs ordered to 51. The latest S70s will supplement the vehicles currently serving METRO's three light-rail lines. The S70s will feature a new-and-improved modern design, with a centralized low-floor configuration offering better access between all doors along the length of the vehicle, Siemens officials said in a press release. The LRVs will provide more accessibility, particularly for wheelchairs and strollers, and wider aisles will optimize passenger flow, they said. The vehicles will be Buy America-compliant and built at Siemens' Sacramento, California, plant. Houston was the first agency to select the S70 low-floor LRV design, which was successfully inaugurated on its first 12-mile line in January 2004, Siemens officials said. Since then, more than 600 S70s have been ordered by 11 U.S. agencies. Siemens provides rail vehicles, locomotives, components and systems to more than 30 U.S. agencies, including those in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.