Philadelphia – Modern Articulated Trolleys Coming
As reported by Citified, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) is planning to replace its current fleets of single unit streetcars with modern low-floor articulated cars.
SEPTA’s director of strategic planning and analysis, Byron Comati, said that a massive trolley fleet renovation is on the horizon. “Once the Key system is done, the next biggie that has complications will be trolley modernization,” Comati said. “It’s a transformational project. You do this once in a generation.”
SEPTA's capital budget includes acquiring more than 100 of the new 80-foot long cars over a period of years at a price of $2.5 to $3 million each. It is anticipated the new cars would replace all of SEPTA's existing fleet including the 1980s-era Kawasaki cars operating on the subway-surface routes and the rebuilt PCC cars on Girard Avenue.
Creating level-boarding, fully handicapped accessible platforms to accommodate the low floor cars and redesigning intersections will be a major undertaking by SEPTA, PennDOT, and the City Streets Department.
Officials anticipate operating speed will be increased as the cars will need to spend less time at stops as passengers will not have to climb up or down steps at the doorways.