Muni samples all-electric bus on city streets


San Francisco transportation officials got a taste of what it is like riding inside an all-electric bus about two weeks ago.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Erica Kato posted a blog entry and brief video of the experience, describing the 30-minute ride into several neighborhoods as “smooth.”

Staff took a ride on an all-electric bus made by New Flyer, the manufacturer of all of Muni’s new hybrid diesel buses and electric trolley buses.

Last month, the SFMTA Board of Directors adopted a resolution that the transit agency would begin the purchase of all-electric buses by 2025 and have its entire fleet of buses be all-electric by 2035.

SFMTA officials said they had purchased new electric hybrid vehicles with a higher battery capacity system onboard the buses.

John Haley, SFMTA director of transit, said last month that the transit agency will test those buses in “green zones” or areas on a bus route where they will only run on the battery producing zero emissions.

Kato wrote:

“We are at the ready to move forward with electric bus technology when manufacturers can prove their electric buses can withstand heavy ridership and steep hills.”

Kato added the transit agency would also need to find new facilities that would be able to charge a large fleet of buses.

Next year, the SFMTA plans to purchase a limited number of electric buses to test and evaluate how they perform on The City’s streets and steep hills, said Kato.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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