SFMTA: New Trains To Roll Out Before Year's End

SFMTA is still on track to roll out its new trains by the end of this year.

As we previously reported, nighttime and weekend service between Montgomery and West Portal stations was shut down for about a month this summer to test the new light-rail vehicles (LRVs) and their associated technology. But the new trains aren’t yet in service. 

During and after the testing phase, Muni needed to “make sure the systems integrated properly and dynamically,” spokeswoman Erica Kato told us. The LRVs are “state-of-the-art” and a “one-of-a-kind” build, so there were some complexities in the integration process, she added. 

Photo: SFMTA

Now, the transit agency expects to file paperwork with the California Public Utilities Commission this month requesting authority to start using the new trains, Kato said.

Submitting the paperwork starts a 21-day clock for CPUC to certify the trains, she added.

According to state rules governing the oversight of light-rail systems, SFMTA must file its notice of intent to operate the new trains with a document showing it meets previously approved safety requirements. Until CPUC staff issues its approval, Muni can't put the new cars in service.

“We anticipate to have trains out by the end of the year, which was always the goal,” Kato said.

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