US-based commuter rail service Caltrain has decided to purchase electric multiple units (EMUs) from Stadler to support increasing ridership.
The transit agency will utilise funding from the California State Transportation Agency’s (CalSTA’s) Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) to expand the electric fleet from 16 six-car trainsets to 19 seven-car trainsets.
By exercising an option in the original contract with Stadler, Caltrain can purchase the additional units at the original price amounting to $174.6m, provided it is carried out by the end of this year.
The purchase will help Caltrain to reduce diesel trips across the corridor and increase seating capacity.
Interior configuration of the trains will be announced next year after it is finalised. The agency will assess various design alternatives to address bike security concerns, as well as onboard and wayside bicycle storage.
In April, CalSTA announced an investment of $164.5m from the TIRCP to support procurement of vehicles and for other service improvements.
The investment is being used to provide Wi-Fi services on the electric fleet and improve bicycle facilities at the Caltrain stations.
Caltrain has also allocated $39.1m from its financial year 2021 capital budget for the EMUs. It has also allotted funds to improve bike parking facilities from 2018 State Rail Assistance funding.
According to Caltrain Business Plan, the ridership on the commuter rail service will increase from 65,000 weekday riders to 240,000 by 2040.
Operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain offers rail services between San Francisco and San Jose with limited operations to Gilroy.