We Saved the Best For Last
This week begins, the cross-country journey of the final 40' coach in the New Flyer Industries renewable diesel-electric hybrid bus order. Leaving from St. Cloud, Minnesota, the 536th new coach will cross the country over the next of couple weeks headed to San Francisco.
The strong partnership of staff from fleet engineering, bus maintenance, quality assurance and finance made this milestone possible. This investment transformed our fleet and delivered the most reliable buses in our history. It also gave our agency the bragging rights of the greenest fleet in North America.
Started in 2012 with the Minnesota Consortium and the 2014 Renewable Diesel-Electric Hybrid RFP, SFMTA has purchased a total of 312 standard 40’ and 224 articulated 60’ low-floor renewable diesel-electric hybrid buses over the course of 7 years.
The introduction of the 536th renewable diesel-electric hybrid and the on-going 40’ standard trolley buses delivery coincided with the celebration of Earth Day. The hybrids run on renewable diesel, a product from plant or fish, the refinery process removes the impurities and others referred to it as 2nd generation of biodiesel. The trolleys operate on 100 percent hydro-electric power. All of our electricity is hydropower – supplied from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and is carbon neutral. Muni has one of the most diverse transit fleets in the world and is also the cleanest multimodal fleet in California.
Reliability was the impetus for the Muni Forward initiative. Muni transports more than 700,000 people during a normal weekday and the majority of those daily trips are taken by bus. So Muni Forward’s aim is to prioritize the bus routes that are the workhorses of our transit system, identifying the time of day to enhance the frequency and extend service hours on Express routes. The cumulative result is more service and less crowding on several major routes.
This sweeping overhaul of Muni’s bus fleet was made possible by a combination of funding. The electric trolley bus purchase was backed by federal, state, Proposition K funds, and other local support. The total purchase cost is $385 million. The biodiesel hybrid bus funds include but are not limited to: Federal Transit Administration grants, AB644 bridge tolls, Proposition K and Proposition B funds. The total purchase contract of $512 million.
As our last, but not least, hybrid coach travels the cross-country route, we hope to keep you updated on twitter @SFMTA_muni with pictures of the journey.