With the Purple Line Extension’s groundbreaking ceremony now behind us, Metro staff is seeking approval from the Metro Board of Directors to begin the process of purchasing 64 new subway cars for the Red and Purple Lines. The Metro Board is scheduled to consider the item at its meeting tomorrow.
The Purple Line Extension’s first phase to Wilshire/La Cienega is forecast to open in 2023 — about the same time that some original subway vehicles are nearing the end of their service lifespan. Staff are seeking to initially purchase 64 rail cars — 34 new ones to help provide service on an expanded Purple Line and 30 to replace aging cars.
Of course, getting new rail cars is no easy task: Metro staff need to evaluate potential bidders, develop a request-for-proposal, evaluate bids and then recommend a bidder to the Metro Board, who must approve a contract. And then the cars must be constructed and delivered to Metro for inspection and testing.
Metro is also in the process of acquiring 78 new light rail vehicles that will be used throughout Metro’s light rail system, present and future.