SEPTA awards $714.2 million contract to Alstom for new trolleys

Feb. 27, 2023
The base contract includes 130 trolleys with new vehicles expected to start arriving at the authority in 2027.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has awarded a $714.2 million contract to Alstom that will see the authority replace its entire fleet of aging trolleys with fully ADA-compliant vehicles.

The base contract is for 130 trolleys and includes an option for 30 additional rail vehicles. SEPTA says the awarding of the contract is a major advancement of its Trolley Modernization project, which aims to transform the authority’s trolley system into the nation’s largest accessible, fast and easy-to-learn network.

The project includes fleet replacement, new on-street stations and infrastructure and operational improvements. The 1980s era trolleys will be replaced with new, longer vehicles with greater passenger capacity, accessibility features including low floors and ramps, wider pathways, designated open space and audio and visual messaging systems.

“Trolley Modernization poses economic benefits for both riders and the region at large,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “This project will strengthen existing connections by improving transit services that link workers to jobs, students to schools and diverse communities to each other – supporting local businesses and an affordable cost-of-living for everyone.”

SEPTA describes the Trolley Modernization as a core component of SEPTA Forward, the authority’s strategic plan to create a “lifestyle transit network,” which can be used for any type of trip through the unification of rail transit, the redesign of its bus network and developing a master plan for its regional rail network.

“SEPTA is committed to ensuring our trolleys meet the needs of all riders – people with disabilities, seniors, families with small children, new users and anyone who needs a little more help to get where they are going,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “SEPTA is still seeking over $800 million in competitive grants and state and local funding to make all the improvements necessary for seamless boarding. We are doing everything we can to move this project forward, but we need to secure new options for funding to leverage the once-in-a-generation infusion of federal dollars.”

Delivery of the new trolleys is scheduled to begin in 2027, with full fleet delivery by the end of 2030.

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