transit trolley cars
Local officials join guests from Argentina at Friday’s MTS ceremony. Photo credit: @StmSaupe via Twitter

The Metropolitan Transit System and an Argentinian province on Friday celebrated the donation of 39 San Diego trolley cars for their Metrotranvía light rail network.

Elected officials on both sides attended the ceremony and signed a declaration committing to the partnership, and the continuation of operations of the MTS trolley fleet in the province, Mendoza.

The light rail vehicles are part of the second generation of MTS trolleys, the Siemens SD100 series that the agency began decommissioning earlier this year.

“We are proud to have this partnership with the Province of Mendoza, and the opportunity for previous generations of trolleys to continue operating and safely transporting people,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who also chairs the MTS board.

He also credited the work of MTS maintenance crews, technicians, and operators for keeping the trolleys, in service for three decades, in “great working condition.” 

This is the second time in a decade that MTS has sent trolleys to Mendoza. Given the compatibly of the cities’ light rail infrastructure, the agency sold 24 trolleys to Mendoza from its first-generation fleet.

“For us, this partnership with MTS is a privilege. The donation of the Trolleys to be added to our Metrotanvía Mendoza system represent a huge asset to our province, which makes great efforts in order to continue with the development of a public transportation system that is sustainable, accessible and of quality,” said Natalio Mema, secretary of public services in Mendoza.

Memo said Mendoza is “eager to continue sharing experiences and perspectives with MTS in the future, and strengthening ties between our regions.”

The government of Mendoza is covering all costs associated with the donation, including shipping, labor and training by MTS technicians and operators.

The vehicles must be dismantled into two pieces and encased in plastic for shipping. They are then transported by truck to Long Beach, by boat to Chile, and by truck to Mendoza through the lower Andes.

The first nine cars have already arrived in Mendoza and shipments are expected to continue over the course of the next year.


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Ellen Bullock