SFMTA approves $68 million for new ‘stretch’ buses

Muni riders who have enjoyed the new shiny 40-foot low floor hybrid diesel buses that arrived in San Francisco last year will be glad to hear that the transit agency is purchasing more of them in a 60-foot version.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s directors approved a six-year $68 million contract with New Flyer America Inc., to purchase 61 articulated 60-foot low floor hybrid diesel buses with options to purchase an additional 200 40-foot and 163 60-foot buses.

John Haley, director of transit, said the current fleet of 60-foot buses are about 12 to 13 years old and will reach their lifetime of usefulness within the next six years.

Haley said the options to purchase additional vehicles will help with future demand for service:

“This includes not only replacement, but allows us the first step in expansion of 60-foot buses to meet our growing ridership demand.”

The new 60-foot buses would service Muni routes like on the 38-Geary, said Haley.

He said the purchase will help continue the transit agency’s plan to replace it’s entire bus fleet by 2019.

Funding for the 61 60-foot buses will come from combination of grants from the federal government, state bonds and local funds.

Funds for the additional vehicles have not been determined yet. The contract requires the approval of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.