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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA) board yesterday approved a plan to purchase 13 new electric locomotives from Siemens, along with the option to buy five additional units. The total price for all the locomotives is not to exceed $154 million, officials from the agency said. Siemens is scheduled to deliver the ACS-64 model locomotives in 2018.The new units would replace SEPTA's eight electric locomotives, and will help the agency increase ridership capacity along its regional rail lines.In the future, the agency also has plans to add up to 45 new bi-level coaches, officials said.Some of the funding for these and other capital improvements comes from Pennsylvania's Act 89, which was passed in November 2013, SEPTA officials said. The law is aimed at improving transportation throughout the state.Also yesterday, the board approved operating and capital budgets for fiscal-year 2016, which begins July 1. The operating budget is $1.36 billion, while the capital budget is $534.54 million. The capital budget is aimed at advancing SEPTA's "Rebuilding for the Future" initiative, which will help the agency catch up on its $5 billion state of good repair backlog, officials said.
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