Since 1909, Calgarians have relied on the service to get them around their community. Calgary Transit has a “triple bottom line” approach, fulfilling key roles in the city:
- socially, as it provides public transit for individuals who cannot or choose not to transport themselves;
- economically, with high-quality transit meaning many people do not need to buy automobiles, so the city can build and maintain fewer roads; and,
- environmentally, because fewer cars lead to cleaner air and reduced traffic noise.
Inviting bids for new light rail vehicles
The heart of Calgary Transit’s system is light rail transit (LRT), including more than 80 Siemens’ U2 LRT trains that have helped keep the city moving since 1981. Over the years, Calgary’s LRT has become the busiest in North America and second busiest in the world, with an average of more than 300,000 passengers using the system each day.
While the U2 trains from Siemens had served the city very well, they had been in operation for more than three decades and in late 2012 the time had come to think about the future. Calgary Transit conducted a detailed analysis to see if the U2 trains could be rebuilt and refurbished. Russell Davies, Transit Fleet Manager for the City of Calgary, says the study made it clear that the U2 fleet had reached the end of its lifecycle and it was time for new vehicles. Bids were invited.
Calgary Transit was looking for potential suppliers to provide trains that boasted leading-edge technology and were priced competitively, but it was also essential that strong after-sale service come as part of the package, and that the selected company have proven itself in the industry with a long history and strong track record.
Most importantly, the winning bid would have to come from a company that could be a trusted advisor, a true partner for Calgary Transit with a shared vision for the long haul. “This was a long-term contract, not ‘buy one’ and then walk away from it,” notes Davies. “We needed to have a comfortable relationship with the supplier, with their people, for a minimum of fifteen years and what could be potentially a 45-year kind of relationship.
The official announcement: Siemens awarded the order
In September of 2013, the City of Calgary announced that Siemens Canada had been awarded the order to provide Calgary Transit with 60 new Siemens S200 High Floor Light Rail Vehicles.
While expressing confidence in how the new Siemens vehicles would help Calgary Transit achieve its economic, environmental and social goals, Robert Hardt, former president and CEO of Siemens Canada, conveyed deep gratitude to the City of Calgary for selecting Siemens.
“We’ve been a proud supplier to Calgary Transit for more than 30 years and are fortunate to use what we have learned in that time to design these vehicles specifically for the needs of this modern and growing city moving forward,” he said on the day of the contract signing. “We look forward to helping further Calgary’s position at the forefront of transit in North America, and to moving the next generation of Calgarians in an efficient and sustainable way."
This was a long-term contract. We needed to have a comfortable relationship for a minimum of fifteen years and what could be potentially a 45-year kind of relationship.Russell Davies, Transit Fleet Manager, City of Calgary
Calgary Transit selected Siemens S200: Collaborating for Innovation
As trusted advisor, Siemens conducted intensive engagement with Calgary Transit on vehicle design
• Collaborative innovation unleashed to solve historic problems such as wheelchair accessibility and durability in a harsh climate
• 60 of the vehicles to be delivered before the end of 2016 Several decades of after-sales support expected through close working relationship
• Partnership built on a foundation of openness, honesty and integrity