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Valley Metro Rail's board has approved contracts to buy new light-rail vehicles and streetcars, the agency announced yesterday.Siemens Industry Inc. obtained a $57.9 million, seven-year contract to build 11 S70 light-rail cars. The agreement includes an option to purchase up to 67 additional S70 units, Valley Metro officials said in a press release.The new fleet is needed to handle anticipated ridership growth along Valley Metro's existing 26-mile line serving Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, Ariz., as well as several extensions slated to open through 2026.In addition, Brookville Equipment Corp. obtained a $33 million contract for the manufacture of six off-wire capable, battery propulsion streetcars over three years. The units will be used for the Tempe Streetcar line, expected to launch service in 2020. Valley Metro is expanding its operations and maintenance center to accommodate the additional light-rail vehicles and streetcar fleet. The expansion includes new tracks, shop and storage facilities, agency officials said.
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