SAN DIEGO — The Metropolitan Transit System announced it is sending up to 39 older trolleys that began operating in 1995 to the city of Mendoza in Argentina.
The donation makes room for a modernized fleet of light rail vehicles for MTS, the public transit service provider stated in a press release Wednesday.
MTS says it is decommissioning the second generation of trolleys, the Siemens SD100 series, after almost 30 years, in order to help lower maintenance costs and improve the customer experience. Those trolleys will become part of the Metrotranvia Mendoza light rail fleet.
“As MTS modernizes its Trolley fleet, we are very glad to see our older models continue to be put to use, serving the people of Mendoza to carry residents to work, school and other activities, just like they’ve been doing in San Diego for almost 30 years,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS Chief Executive Officer. “I’d like to personally thank our friends from the City of Mendoza for this partnership. It’s great to see light rail flourish in other parts of the world the way it has in San Diego, while also keeping these vehicles from the scrap heap or landfill.”
This is not the first time Mendoza has been connected with the MTS, as in 2012, the transit service sold 24 trolleys to the Argentine city from its first generation fleet, according to the MTS.
During the shipment to Mendoza, the light rail vehicles must be dismantled into two pieces and encased in plastic.
“The LRVs are being transported by truck to Long Beach, by boat to Antofagasta, Chile, and then by truck the remaining distance to Mendoza through the lower Andes. The first three cars have just arrived in Mendoza, and shipments are expected to continue over the course of the year,” MTS spokersperson Grecia Figueroa said.
Shipping and labor costs to reassemble the cars will be covered by the government of Mendoza, the MTS added. Mendoza also plans to send technicians to San Diego in the near future for more in-depth maintenance and operations training.