Originally Posted by ardecila
I dunno, I think having something distinctive/ugly is better than something nice but generic. Having a unique tram design is a great way to brand the city - SF should understand this better than most, with cable cars and the heritage F Market.
These designs look like Minneapolis, Charlotte, or Houston. Part of the problem is that everyone buys Siemens because nobody else can meet buy America requirements.
I can't comment on the functional requirements of the tram, possibly a low floor design would not work- the Marseille design was just an example.
There's no accounting for taste but I am certain, after living here for over 20 years, that a train like Marseille's and an acid-trip livery like Montpelier's would be overwhelmingly rejected by city residents.
As for branding, San Francisco doesn't have a branding problem--but even if we did, new trains running underground and out of sight in the busiest and most touristy parts of town wouldn't solve it. As you noted, we already have the famous and unique cable cars, which are a very visible and well-known part of our brand. We also have brightly-colored PCCs and Peter Witts in various liveries, which are less well known but still very attractive to tourists. Even BART is somewhat iconic, at least in this part of the country. But a workhorse like Muni Metro? I think locals want these trains to be as modern--and as inobtrusive--as possible.
As for Siemens, they'll fabricate the new trains just 90 miles away, in Sacramento. It was a rational choice in that respect.
Originally Posted by peanut gallery
For me, it's Skyline 1, S2, Gate, Presidio. I think the red outline of the front window is a nice touch to S1 and those two just look more sleek than the other two, IMO.
Any thoughts on the interior? I didn't expect to like the longitudinal version better, but I do. I also lean toward the red interior.
I'm agnostic on the color schemes, but enthusiastically voted for the longitudinal option. The current fleet's forward/backward facing seat pairs are a horrible waste of space (the single ones are not so bad). Standing passengers at peak rush need all the space we can get. Muni Metro is now the nation's busiest light rail system, and requires bench seating to handle the crowds.