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Woods Battery Electric Bus Charging Station Pilot Program

Project Introduction

The SFMTA is taking a big leap forward in implementing its Sustainability and Climate Action Program. Starting in fall 2020, a new project will install nine new charging stations at Muni Woods Division to power the agency’s first group of battery electric buses. The project will kick off the pilot program to determine the SFMTA’s future for charging methods on new zero-emission e-buses. This is a major milestone toward advancing San Francisco’s vision of excellent transportation choices and mission to connect San Francisco through a safe, equitable, and sustainable transportation system.

Project Timeline 
Fall 2018 - Winter 2019
Winter 2019 - Spring 2019
Preliminary Engineering
Spring 2019 - Fall 2019
Detail Design
Fall 2020 - Summer 2021
Construction of E-bus Chargers

The earth’s climate system is changing in profound ways as result of our reliance of harmful fossil fuels. Today, the majority of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants are generated by the transportation sector which is reliant on carbon intensive fossil fuels.

The SFMTA is a leader in providing sustainable transportation options for residents and visitors. While the city’s transportation sector contributes approximately 46 percent of San Francisco’s overall emissions, the SFMTA’s energy-efficient transit fleet that includes all electric trolley buses contributes less than two percent of the sector’s emissions. Throughout our agency’s history, we have consistently and proactively pursued and implemented the latest in green transportation technologies. Today, the SFMTA operates the greenest transit system of any major city in North America.

In order to reduce emissions to meet the city’s climate goals, a transformation of the broader transportation sector is required in the years ahead. Broadly speaking, this means two main things:

  1. Sustainable modes of transportation, such as public transit, biking, and walking must be prioritized by making these options attractive and safe.
  2. All remaining vehicles need to be powered by renewable energy which generate significantly fewer emissions and harmful pollution.

Electric Bus Pilot Program

To ensure that battery electric buses can deliver the same standard of reliability and service as our current hybrid-electric bus fleet, the SFMTA is implementing the 18-month battery electric bus pilot program, which is instrumental in determining the SFMTA’s future strategy. In recent years, the transit industry has witnessed significant progress in battery electric technology.

However, the question remains of whether battery electric buses can handle San Francisco’s heavy transit ridership and hilly routes. To answer this question, the SFMTA will procure three 40-ft buses each from three different manufacturers, including BYD, New Flyer and Proterra, and test their performance in revenue service for one year. At the end of the test program, the SFMTA will evaluate the feasibility of operating an all-electric bus fleet.

Muni e bus stand alone

What to expect during installation of the new chargers:

The installation of the new chargers will take approximately nine months to complete. The first three battery electric buses are expected to arrive in spring 2021 as part of the pilot program.  In addition to the battery electric bus chargers, the updated infrastructure includes electrical support equipment, such as switchgear, switchboard, transformers, power cabinets, and conduit. The support equipment would be enclosed within the Electrical Equipment Center directly adjacent to the charging stations.

  • Construction hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Bus operation at Woods will operate as usual without interruption.
  • Work will be contained in the bus yard and will not impact traffic or transit service to the public.
  • Measures will be taken to control noise and dust during work hours. 

Strategic electrification of the transportation sector will reduce harmful emissions and air pollution to ensure consistency with key policies such as Transit First and public health and safety policies while simultaneously providing equitable access across the City.

For more information on electric mobility, please visit SFMTA Electric Mobility Page

Contact Information
Jay Lu, Public Relations Officer