Release date: SFMTA Explores Double Deck Bus Option
*** Press Release ***
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. today announced the plan for Muni to conduct an in-service trial of a double deck bus as part of the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). The SFMTA will borrow the vehicle at no cost from Alexander Dennis Limited, the bus manufacturer, to determine its suitability to San Francisco’s streets.
From Wednesday, December 12, 2007 to Monday, January 8, 2008, when Muni customers board the distinctive double deck bus, they will be invited to ride free-of-charge and provide feedback to the SFMTA about the bus. Six-days-a-week, from morning to night, the statuesque vehicle will move from route to route to allow SFMTA planners and operators the opportunity to see how well the bus performs. This will allow as many Muni customers and operators as possible the opportunity to let the SFMTA know what they think of the unique vehicle.
“Looking at innovative approaches to our transportation needs is exactly the purpose of the TEP,” said Mayor Newsom. “The SFMTA and San Francisco both have limited resources—financially and geographically. Whenever possible, we should explore all our options and work together to find the solutions that work best for San Francisco.”
“When it comes to selecting the Muni bus of the future, we know we have experts all around us: our customers and employees,” stated Ford. He continued, “We do not plan to buy these or any vehicles next week. We are very focused on clearing any obstacles to achieving 85% on-time performance. At the same time we strive to solve today’s problems, we want to make sure we plan for the future.”
Routes will be selected that will not only allow the bus to pass easily, but will also provide an accurate representation of San Francisco’s busy transit corridors. The 14-foot high double deck vehicle will easily pass under trolley wires.
The SFMTA will investigate various bus types as part of future service planning. It will continue to showcase these options when possible. Most recently, in July 2007, SFMTA management and Mayor Newsom reviewed a newly designed 60-foot articulated vehicle from the North American Bus Industries, Inc.
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