MTS unveils new low floor trolleys - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

MTS unveils new low floor trolleys

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Metropolitan Transit System unveiled a new trolley model Thursday that it hopes will make the system more accessible to passengers.

MTS has so far received six of a fleet of 57 "low floor" vehicles, which spare passengers from having to climb stairs when hopping on or off. They will cost a total of $233 million.

"The new low-floor cars usher in a new era of accessibility for the trolley system," Harry Mathis, chairman of the MTS board, said. "These cars have nearly level boarding ramps, eliminating the need for stairs and wheelchair lifts. They will enable speedier boarding and quicker trips for our passengers."

Although they have the same capacity as the current cars, the new cars are shorter, which will allow them to operate in tight spaces without encroaching on pedestrian crosswalks.

The first two cars will begin service on the Green Line on Oct. 3, leaving Old Town for Santee at 5 a.m. MTS hopes to have the new low-floor fleet operating on the Blue Line from Downtown to South Bay and the Orange Line in East County by 2014.

To make all trolley stations compatible for the low-floor cars, the Blue and Orange Lines will have to be reconstructed. Work has already begun in some of the downtown stations.

Construction is expected to impact trolley service. Commuters can expect temporary weekend and weekday closures at select stations and some weekend service halted to many downtown stations. MTS pledged to provide substitute shuttle service on weekends that the trolley is not in service.

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