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First Light Rail Transit vehicle in Edmonton

07/18/2008 AT 06:17

The new trains will be used to service the South Light Rail Transit (LRT) extension as from spring 2009, and to increase ridership capacity on the City's existing northern line. When the line is fully complete, LRT ridership is expected to double to 100,000 passengers per day.

"Expanding the LRT service will greatly improve Edmontonians' quality of life and address the city's tremendous growth pressures," said Thomas Lukaszuk, member of Legislative Assembly for Edmonton-Castle Downs. Edmonton's Mayor Stephen Mandel said: "By investing in Edmonton's LRT we're not just investing vehicles or rail lines, we're investing in a system that is sustainable. This is good for the environment and will increase the comfort of our passengers. Edmonton continues to grow and build for the future, so LRT ridership is expected to increase."

The first LRT car was shipped to Edmonton last month from its Siemens facility in Sacramento, California, USA. Its official unveiling marked the thirtieth anniversary of the formal event to accept delivery of the first LRT vehicle to Edmonton's fleet. Before the first trains begin service this coming fall, they will undergo thorough testing.

The order from October 2005 is worth around 77 million euros. Funding for the vehicles, was provided by the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund. In 2008-2009, the City Edmonton will receive more than 130 million euros (210 million Canadian dollars) from the Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Fund and the City Transportation Fund for its LRT project. These grant funding programs are designed to provide support for priority municipal infrastructure projects including transportation and public transit undertakings such as the LRT lines and vehicles. The City of Edmonton provides funding for the South LRT Extension and LRT vehicles through local taxes and borrowing.

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