More than $21 Million in Federal Funding to Further Modernize Muni Fleet & Improve SFMTA Transit Service throughout City
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced San Francisco awarded more than $21 million in U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Livability and State of Good Repair grants to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) for frontline Muni service enhancements and new, low-floor biodiesel-electric hybrid buses – critical investments that will optimize existing Muni transit service and improve the customer experience.
“As the FTA makes a tremendous investment in public transit across the nation, we are pleased are highlighting San Francisco, as we are making significant changes to improve transit service for Muni riders and sustain our system for many years to come,” said Mayor Lee. “I want to thank the Obama Administration and FTA Deputy Administrator McMillan for providing critical funds for San Francisco’s transit future and our Congressional delegation for their support in creating a 21st Century transportation system.”
“President Obama’s support for an America built to last is putting people back to work across the country modernizing our nation’s public transit systems,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood. “By investing in the transit infrastructure people depend on to get where they need to go each day, we will keep our economy moving forward well into the future.”
FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan was in San Francisco today to announce the $45.7 million in federal funding for the San Francisco Bay Area regional transit agencies including San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit), Monterey-Salinas Transit in Monterey, San Mateo County Transit District and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, to replace aging buses and transit vehicles that will improve service for hundreds of thousands of people who take public transit every day.
“From San Jose to Oakland, these funds go a long way to put more comfortable, efficient, clean-fuel vehicles on the road to meet rising demand for service,” said Deputy Administrator McMillan. “These awards are a big win for everybody because they will reduce highway congestion, improve air quality, and help this region continue to offer balanced transportation options for millions of residents.”
“The SFMTA thanks the City’s leadership, Mayor Lee and Supervisor Campos, especially in his capacity as Chair of the County Transportation Authority, for their focus on improving Muni as well as the FTA for these funds that are so crucial to furthering our goals for making transit more reliable and efficient Citywide,” said SFMTA Board of Directors Vice Chairman Cheryl Brinkman. “A greener fleet, more efficient Muni system means less congestion, a reduction in harmful emissions and improved quality of life.
”Both grant awards, more than $6 million for improved bus facilities via the Livability Initiative and $15 million for new low-floor, biodiesel-electric hybrid buses via the State of Good Repair program, support and further the SFMTA’s plans for improved frontline transit service throughout San Francisco.
“Investments in optimizing existing service and enhancing the customer experience will not only help us better serve our current customers, but also will help attract new customers,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin. “Underscoring San Francisco’s Transit First policy, the SFMTA will direct these funds to frontline Muni service.”
With the oldest bus fleet in the nation, Muni needs to upgrade and update its fleet and will do so over the next eight to 10 years. The $15m State of Good Repair grant will allow the SFMTA to replace 18 20-year-old buses that will play an important role in expanding Muni’s Rapid Network service.
The new buses will be 40-foot low-floor biodiesel-electric hybrids that are 30 percent more fuel efficient, emitting 95 percent less particulate matter, 40 percent less nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide and 30 percent less greenhouse gas. These modern hybrid buses will begin the replacement of 45 Gillig 40-foot standard diesel buses that were first put into service in 1993.
Due to their flexibility, large passenger capacity, and durability, the 40-foot biodiesel buses are critical to the SFMTA’s ability to provide support service on any route or line, including other bus routes, light rail lines, the historic streetcar line, and the cable car lines. This type of flexibility is especially critical during large civic events, such as the America’s Cup races in 2013 and 2014.
The SFMTA expects to begin receiving the first of these buses in early 2013.
The Livability Initiative grant is part of the Fiscal Year 2012 Bus and Bus Facilities Program. The award of $6.4 million will fund the SFMTA’s 8X Mobility Maximization project. The project is part of a the Rapid Network that will target existing transit service along the most heavily travelled corridors of the city to improve service reliability, reduce travel time, and enhance customer experience. The 8X Corridor has more than 30,000 daily customers.
Funding will be used to implement: Coloring of existing dedicated transit lanes; Transit signal priority; Pre-payment fare collection; Information panel and transit arrival prediction signs; Vehicle branding and enhanced stop identification; Cameras on buses to capture vehicles illegally occupying transit-only lanes.
By fostering the development of a premier service, the SFMTA will provide more transportation choices, support and value existing communities and neighborhoods, promote lower transportation and living costs, and enhance economic competitiveness. Assuming funding in Fall 2012, the project is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2014.