Transport Network West Midlands Smart Ticketing Bus Bus stations Transforming Bus Travel Subsidised Bus Services Bus Partnerships Rail Transforming Rail Travel Rail Devolution Metro Metro Development Metro Forward Cycling and Walking Accessible Transport Transport Regeneration Safer Travel Park and Ride Midland Metro Work to extend the Midland Metro into Birmingham City Centre has started. When the extension opens in 2015, it will greatly improve links between the Black Country and central Birmingham by linking to the National Rail network at Birmingham Gateway - New Street. It is expected to deliver £50m per annum to the region's economy and create around 1,500 jobs. Centro has appointed Balfour Beatty as main contractor for the city centre extension and they are now working with Centro, Birmingham City Council and stakeholders on design and construction. Centro is diverting water and gas pipes, sewers, electricity cables and telecommunications to allow the construction of the tramway. Visit the Midland Metro website for more information. Metro Fleet Replacement To allow growth of passenger numbers as well as the extension of the Metro into Birmingham city centre, Centro has ordered a new fleet of trams that will enter service in 2014 and be introduced on the Birmingham city centre extension as soon as it opens. The new 20-tram fleet will be fully low floor, longer, have two wheelchair spaces and capacity of 200 with around 50 seats. They will have air conditioning and enhanced information systems. Metro Depot Extension Work to increase the size of the Midland Metro depot at Wednesbury is underway. Enhancements include doubling of the size of the maintenance shed, new sidings, a new testing and commissioning shed to help bring the new fleet into service and for repainting and accident damage repair. Completion is planned for the arrival of the first tram in late 2013. Centro and Morgan Sindall are working closely with operators National Express to ensure works do not impact operations of the existing line.