Celebrating a milestone and an enhancement for rider convenience, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) took delivery of the 50th Kinkisharyo International (KI) Model P3010 Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) and announced reduced headways on the Metro Expo Line from 12 minutes to six minutes.
“With delivery of the 50th light rail vehicle of our total order of 235, Metro is keeping its promise of bringing modern, efficient and economical rail transit to areas where alternatives to traffic are badly needed,” said Metro Board Chair John Fasana. “The additional light rail vehicles allowed Metro to this week reduce the time between trains to six minutes from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekdays.”
“We’re making excellent progress getting more vehicles into service and riders will have relief from crowded conditions,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board First Vice Chair Eric Garcetti. “Since opening two new rail extensions, the Gold Line to Azusa in March and the Expo Line to Santa Monica in May, we’ve seen pent up demand for this service.”
Model P3010 is assembled at the KI facility in Palmdale under a contract approved by the Metro Board of Directors in August 2012. The base order for 78 LRVs was subsequently expanded when the Board exercised options for an additional 157 of the quiet and smooth-riding trains.
KI, based in El Segundo, Calif., delivers four Model P-3010 LRVs per month, according to its contract with Metro. Since beginning operations in Palmdale, the company has hired 404 full time workers locally and added another 146 workers on contract. The minimum wage earned at the facility is $17 per hour with an average wage of $21 per hour.
“The size of Metro’s order created a sea change for Kinkisharyo in Palmdale,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Michael D. Antonovich. “At first, the facility merely assembled rail vehicles and now the facility partially manufactures car shells, creating jobs for local workers and positioning the region as a location of choice for transit vehicle manufacturing and business investment.”
“We are as pleased as Metro is to celebrate the delivery of our 50th light rail car this month,” said Akiyoshi Oba, president of Kinkisharyo International, LLC. “We knew when we were awarded this contract in mid-2012 that the challenge of delivering the 50th car barely four years later could only be met by hard work and much collaboration with Metro, FTA, and our many subcontractors. And just as impressive as our speed of delivery is that we are adhering to our commitment to delivering the highest quality vehicles in the industry.”
After KI delivers a rail vehicle to Metro, it goes through a commissioning process that includes 1,000 miles of non-revenue operation and California Public Utilities Commission approval. Preparing the vehicle for revenue service can take about 45 days. Currently, there are 38 Model P-3010 vehicles in service and the 50th car should be ready for revenue service by mid-December.
“The taxpayers entrusted us with a great responsibility and the arrival of Kinkisharyo’s milestone 50th rail vehicle shows that Metro continues to deliver on the promise to build and maintain a world class transportation system in Los Angeles County,” said Metro CEO Phillip Washington.