Calgary is getting 60 new transit cars worth roughly $200 million that will start to go into service in December 2015.

Each of the new S200 light rail vehicles (LRV) are manufactured by Siemen's Canada and cost $3.2 million each.

Russell Davies, the manager of Calgary Transit's fleet, will be on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One at 8:10 a.m. MT Thursday morning to talk about the new C-Train cars.

City council approved using $133 million from the Green Transit Incentives Program (GreenTRIP) — a provincial fund designated for improvements in public transit — in addition to $67 million previously set aside for the project.

Mac Logan, the city's general manager of transportation, says the cars are needed.

"As our fleet gets older, many of the older LRVs are nearing the end of their life," he said.

Logan said the first C-Trains ever purchased have been on the tracks for 32 years, even though they were only designed to last 30 years.

"We need new vehicles to replace the old ones to improve our reliability," he said. "We also need new vehicles to grow our fleet, not only to meet customer demands but also to provide for four-car trains that are coming soon."

Calgarians to vote on train design

The city says the new cars will also be more reliable, secure and accessible as well as air conditioned.

The purchase is part of Calgary Transit's 30-year strategy that identified the LRV fleet will need to grow from 192 to 390 to achieve targets.

Currently more than 300,000 people ride C-Trains every week day in Calgary.

Residents will get a chance to help Calgary Transit choose the new train design that features a black, red and white colour scheme in a vote.

Currently there are three options: The Bow, The Buffalo and The Mask. 

Siemen's beat out four other companies for the contract.

The city had been seeking "a new, long-term strategic partner" for the future supply of new C-Train cars since December 2012.

thebow

The Bow C-Train design concept is one of three options Calgarians can select in a vote. (Courtesy City of Calgary)

thebuffalo

The Buffalo design symbolizes stability, endurance, strength and majesty. (Courtesy City of Calgary)

 

themask

The Mask is another option available to vote on for the design of new C-train cars that will start to hit the rails in 2015. (Courtesy City of Calgary)