MTA Press Releases

Press Release
July 31, 2002
MTA NYC Transit Awards New Car Contract

MTA NYC Transit has awarded a nearly $1 billion contract to railcar builder Alstom Transportation Inc. for the production of 660 new state-of-the-art subway cars, it was announced today by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Peter S. Kalikow and MTA New York City Transit President Lawrence G. Reuter.

The contract contains two options for up to an additional 1,040 cars. In order to attain operational compatibility with the R143 cars, Alstom and Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., the manufacturer of the R143, have agreed to form a contractual relationship to produce the R160 cars under this contract.

MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow said, "I am delighted that we are today announcing what will be the largest subway car purchase in New York City Transit's history. And this unique agreement between Alstom and Kawasaki ensures that we will getting the best technology for the best price."

The $961,687,121 contract will be funded by the Federal Transit Administration. The contract includes an option for 620 additional cars and a second option for 380 to 420 cars. Funding for the options is planned for the next MTA Five-Year Capital Plan.

"These are truly the next generation of subway cars," said MTA NYC President Lawrence G. Reuter. "The new R160 fleet will allow us to not only update the B Division, or lettered lines, but give us the opportunity to provide our customers with a far more customer-friendly environment, using state of the art technology."

The base order of 660 cars will replace equipment in service since at least 1964, including R40, R42, R38 and R32 car classes. These cars are currently running on the A, C, E, J/Z, L, M, N and Q lines. Alstom will assemble the new R160 cars at its manufacturing plant in Hornell, New York. Kawasaki will assemble the R160 cars at its plant in Yonkers, New York.

Michel Moreau, President of Alstom's Transport Sector, said, "We are pleased to have won this competitive tender, where our advanced technology and efficient manufacturing capability were key success factors. Five years ago we made a significant investment in a facility in upstate New York. Today the nearly 1500 Alstom employees in New York State look forward to supplying these new trains to MTA New York City Transit and the to subway riders of New York City."

Yuichi Yamamoto, President of Kawasaki Rail Car, said, "As a company that has proven itself by providing subways cars to the most demanding subway system in the world, we are proud to be part of the mass transportation solution. Here and in other cities, we demonstrated what merit, work ethic, and performance can accomplish."

The stainless-steel R160 cars will be configured in five-car units, and equipped with several hi-tech customer amenities, including state-of-the art air-conditioning systems. Like the R142/142A and R143 cars currently in service, the R160s will have bench-style seating with lumbar supports, electronic strip maps and signs that display route and station information, final destination, next stop, and time of day.

Additional features include lighted arrows indicating which side the doors will open and a "Passenger Emergency Intercom" to allow passengers to communicate with the train operator or conductor in the event of a passenger emergency. The cars also have increased soundproofing and an air bag suspension for a quieter, smoother ride.

The base order of 660 R160 cars is scheduled to arrive beginning in 2006.