The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), approved the purchase of 45 new hybrid electric 40 foot buses from New Flyer Industries. These new vehicles will replace 13-year-old buses currently in service.
"Investing in infrastructure and operations will help improve and sustain our transit service for the long term, said Mayor Ed Lee. "These new hybrids demonstrate our commitment to a green and clean future for our City's transit system and will help improve transit times and rider experience."
"These buses will allow for an improved Muni system," said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "Not only will they make for better service, but they will continue the work we are doing to be one of the cleanest fleets in the country."
"This is another investment in Muni's future and the future of transportation in our city," said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. "Improving existing service will not only enhance our current customers' experience, but it helps further our commitment to San Francisco's Transit First policy by attracting new riders."
Pending final approval from the Board of Supervisors, the SFMTA expects to have a prototype on the road next winter for a month long test in regular passenger service. All 45 new buses are expected to arrive by the end of summer 2013.
In order to expedite the purchasing process, the SFMTA joined a current, competitively bid vehicle contract with the State of Minnesota. The vehicles specified under the Minnesota contract were updated to include features necessary for San Francisco's unique operating environment and high passenger loads. The total vehicle cost will be approximately $33.8 million or $752,000 per vehicle and is funded through federal, state, and local support.
The SFMTA is aggressively pursuing replacement and rehabilitation programs on all buses, light rail vehicles, and historic streetcars. Within the next two years, SFMTA expects to purchase 60 articulated trolley buses to replace current 20 year old vehicles. These programs directly support the agency's two-year budget, focusing on maintenance and infrastructure improvements.
You may also be interested in the articles:
Adding Hybrid Buses to Your Fleet by Mark Aramli
Going Green — Driving Differences by Paul Goyette