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Muni Trolley Coach Upgrade and Expansion

Project Timeline 
Summer 2016
Construction: Summer 2016 - Winter 2020
Current Phase or Stage
Predicted Completion
Winter 2020
Project Status
Improve service with newer and more reliable trolley coaches

The Plan

Between 2016 and 2020 the SFMTA will procure 278 New Flyer trolley coaches to replace and expand our all-electric trolley coach fleet. To date, our trolley coaches are the only coaches that can successfully navigate San Francisco’s difficult topography. For example, these remarkable vehicles can climb a 23% grade with a fully-loaded bus. The SFMTA’s next-generation trolley coaches contain state-of-the-art technology and support technological advances.

The coaches slated for replacement have reached the end of their scheduled useful life. Replacing these vehicles will save time and money spent on maintenance and allow the SFMTA to dedicate more resources to serving our passengers. Expanding the trolley coach fleet will increase our trolley coach service and help us meet growing current and future ridership demand. The bigger and better trolley coach fleet will not only be more reliable, but also safer, and more comfortable for our operators and passengers.

Technological Upgrades

1. Service improvement features

  • Preventative and predictive maintenance system
  • Incline Mode to prevent vehicle damage when traversing uneven terrain

2. Safety improvement features  

  • State-of-the-art braking system
  • Better performance on high-grades
  • Off-wire capabilities that allow the coaches to run solely on battery power for an extended period
  • Brighter, more reliable interior lighting.

3. Ridership experience improvement features

  • Perimeter seat layout with more standing room
  • Low floor chassis, instead of door steps, for easier boarding and alighting

Environmental Benefits

For almost 85 years Muni has continuously operated a network of vehicles, including trolley coaches, that run on 100% greenhouse gas-free Hetch Hetchy hydroelectric power. Our legacy, or pre-replacement, all-electric trolley coach fleet helped the City meet its 2017  San Francisco Climate Action Strategy goals. Upgrading and expanding this fleet will help the City meet future environmental goals by increasing trolley coach service and growing ridership on the greenest transportation system in North America.

Additionally, upgrading and expanding the trolley coach fleet is in line with the City’s voter-approved Transit-First Policy established in 1973. The policy prioritizes public transit, bicycling, and walking on SF Streets as an economically and environmentally preferable alternative to transportation by individual automobiles. By providing safe, reliable, rapid, and environmentally sustainable transit service, this project will support our city’s economic and population growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption. 

Contact Information
Bhavin Khatri