Operated by Metro Transit, the new METRO Green Line connects residents of the Twin Cities with 23 stations between Target Field in downtown Minneapolis and the St. Paul Union Depot. Employing more than 5,000 workers, construction of the METRO Green Line is the largest public works project in Minnesota history.
To meet ridership goals, Metro Transit needed to provide commuters with a reliable and comfortable experience, year-round. This is especially challenging during harsh Minnesota winters. MetroTransit needed a LRV provider that could ensure in-service reliability, incorporate technical modifications to accommodate for the local climate, and guarantee on-time delivery in time for launch of service.
Metro Transit selected the S70 light rail vehicle from Siemens as its light rail vehicle of choice. The specifications of the S70 – named after the 70% low-floor design that is ideal for street-level operation in the United States – and the capabilities of Siemens engineering team combined to provide an ideal fit for Metro Transit.
To meet the cold weather challenge, Siemens made more than 1,000 customizations, large and small, to each LRV. The final S70 design incorporates many features that enhance safety, reliability and comfort on the METRO Green Line. The S70, which fits 230 passengers with space for bicycles and wheelchairs, is also about 6,000 pounds lighter than the previous LRV model used on Metro Transit’s Blue Line route. The lighter load offers greater efficiency, using 5%–6% less electricity.