The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni) took delivery of its first New Flyer Industries electric trolley and biodiesel-electric hybrid buses.
The two state-of-art buses represent the next phase of upgrades for SFMTA’s aging vehicle fleet. Sixty brand new electric trolley buses will replace buses that have been in operation for over two decades. Concurrently, through unanimous Board of Supervisors approval, the SFMTA has purchased 61 new biodiesel-electric hybrid buses. The combined purchases are part of the agency’s five-year plan to replace the entire bus fleet.
The new hybrids will run on B20: a blend of diesel and biodiesel, which is made from recycled oil and fat. The new trolleys will operate on 100% hydro-electric power. All of SFMTA’s electricity is hydropower – supplied from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and is carbon neutral. Muni now has one of the most diverse transit fleets in the world and is also the cleanest multimodal fleet in California.
This sweeping overhaul of Muni’s bus fleet is made possible by a combination of funding. The electric trolley bus purchase is backed by federal, state, Proposition K funds and other local support. The total purchase cost is $94,950,444. The biodiesel hybrid bus funds include Federal Transit Administration grants, AB644 bridge tolls, Proposition K and Proposition B funds. The total purchase contract is $68 million.
The SFMTA has been given notice to proceed with the procurement of 200 standard (40-foot buses) and up to 163 articulated low-floor biodiesel-electric hybrid buses. The base order is for 61 buses; the remaining purchases would occur in phases over the next six years.