The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of Los Angeles, US, has approved an $890m contract to buy light rail cars from Japanese company Kinkisharyo International.
Under the contract, MTA will initially buy 78 rail cars for $299m, while the contract also includes an option to purchase an additional 157 rail cars for $591m.
The light rail cars will be deployed on the Expo Line Phase II, Gold Line Foothill Extension, Crenshaw Line and the Blue Line to replace 69 ageing rail cars, which are expected to go out of service by 2018.
Construction on the Expo Line and the Gold Line Foothill Extension is underway and set to be completed in 2015.
Kinkisharyo will deliver 28 of the new rail cars by 2015 and a further 62 by May 2016.
If MTA chooses to exercise all options then the company will deliver all 235 rail cars by February 2020.
Kinkisharyo International, a subsidiary of Japan-based Kinki Sharyo Company, beat out competition from Siemens Industry and CAF USA to win the contract.
While evaluating the bids, Metro officials conclude that the Kinkisharyo contract would create around $138.8m of jobs in the country, while the competitive bid by Siemens would create an estimated $140.6m of jobs.
MTA staff also reckoned that Kinkisharyo offered the lowest risk to the delivery schedule, as well as a better technical proposal for the rail car systems in terms of design and integration.
MTA had previously signed a deal with Italian company, AnsaldoBreda to buy 100 rail cars in 2009, but the agreement was cancelled.The rain operator is planning to source $240m in federal funds to finance the new rail cars.
Image: The light rail cars will be deployed on the Expo Line Phase II, Gold Line Foothill Extension, Crenshaw Line and the Blue Line. Photo: courtesy of MTA.