Muni upgrades to start in January

Muni’s fleet of light-rail vehicles will be spruced up and spit-shined starting early in the new year, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokeswoman Kristin Holland said.

In October, the Board of Supervisors and mayor signed off on a $56.7 million contract with Italian company AnsaldoBreda to upgrade 143 of the agency’s light-rail vehicles. The rehabilitation will be paid with federal stimulus dollars.

A total of 143 vehicles will receive basic maintenance on doors and steps, which have gone without any upgrades since 1997.

Mayor Gavin Newsom signed off on the contract with AnsaldoBreda just days before Los Angeles County nixed talks on a separate rail contract. The company, already three years behind schedule on a contract to deliver 50 rail cars to Los Angeles’ transit agency, was positioned to win another contract worth $300 million, but talks collapsed when the company asked for consessions Los Angeles was unwilling to give.

Holland said the company will get started on the San Francisco project after the turn of the year.

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