French-based rolling stock manufacturer Alstom has been contracted to deliver 130 complete low-floor electric streetcars worth approximately €667m ($718m) to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

Alstom‘s dedication to sustainable mobility is emphasised by the production of the Citadis streetcars, which are 99% recyclable at the end of their 30-year lifespan.

In addition to this Alstom is integrating LED lighting with sensor-based air-conditioning to minimise energy consumption.

This is consistent with SEPTA’s culture of low and no-carbon travel, as the SEPTA subway, trolley and Regional Rail emit less than half as many greenhouse gasses per passenger mile as a single-occupancy car.

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By GlobalData

Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom Americas highlighted how this arrangement will bring modernised rail to the streets of Philadelphia: “We are proud to be selected by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to build and supply 130 next-generation LRVs.

“The new Citadis streetcars will bring more efficient accessible and equitable service to the people of Philadelphia’s metropolis, as they will replace the existing SEPTA fleet that dates from the 80s.”

Furthermore, Alstom is able to contribute to the economy in the South East of Pennsylvania, as SEPTA reports that average residential property prices in Southeastern Pennsylvania are 11% higher, totalling $33bn in extra house value related to access to SEPTA’s rail system.

Keroullé said: “We are thrilled with the opportunity to serve over 80,000 daily riders with a more accessible, comfortable and modern experience.”

According to Alstom, global passenger traffic might more than double between 2015 and 2050, therefore they are designing their rolling equipment with passengers in mind.

Some of the features incorporated into the new Citadis streetcars include 100 per cent complete low floors with larger aisles to promote passenger mobility and accessibility, ramps at all entrances for disabled access and audio/visual message systems to inform and communicate to passengers about forthcoming stops and service changes.

The streetcars will be produced at Alstom’s Hornell facility in New York, which has established capabilities required to meet “Buy America” requirements, thereby stimulating the local economy and contributing to the overall goal of promoting American-made products.

Alstom’s significant investments in the Hornell site, including the installation of a stainless-steel car body shell manufacturing plant to localise car body shell production will provide SEPTA with improved quality control over the whole production process.

Additionally, Alstom will also construct the propulsion system for the streetcars at its advanced propulsion technology research and development and engineering facility in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.