A trolley rider inspects one of the new 5000-series trolley cars. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The first nine cars in Metropolitan Transit System‘s new fleet of 5000-series trolleys will begin service on the Orange and Blue lines on Saturday morning.

The new cars, built by Germany’s Siemens in Sacramento, are part of a total order of 45, most of which will be used on the Blue Line extension to University City that is midway through construction.

MTS opened up a gleaming car number 5001 at the 12th & Imperial Transit Center on Wednesday for news media and trolley passengers to inspect.

The cars have a redesigned middle section to improve accessibility for riders with bicycles, wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

“It’s important for our transit system to be accessible to everyone, especially members of our disability community,” said Georgette Gómez, chair of the MTS board and a member of the San Diego City Council. “These trolleys are an example of how MTS continues to make improvements to help all of our passengers access the system better.”

MTS now has a total of 244 trolleys, making it Siemens’ largest U.S. customer for light rail vehicles.

“Siemens is proud to continue our 38-year relationship with MTS with the delivery of these state-of-the-art light rail vehicles for San Diego,” said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rolling Stock in the United States.

MTS operates 95 bus routes and three trolley lines serving 300,000 passengers every weekday.

Interior of new 5000-series trolley. Photo by Chris Jennewein
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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.