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Release date: April 18, 2013

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), today unveiled the first of 80 newly rehabilitated 40-foot Neoplan buses that are scheduled to rejoin the SFMTA fleet this year. The refurbished buses, all scheduled to undergo complete major system overhauls, will add years of life to some of the SFMTA's hardest-working vehicles, improve fleet performance reliability, reduce repair costs and deliver added customer comfort and safety.

The bus unveiled today is currently being inspected by SFMTA personnel in order to ensure that all issues are addressed and that the rehabilitation of the remaining 79 vehicles is done correctly by contractor Complete Coach Works, a California company.

“Rehabilitating portions of the current fleet is a cost-effective way to help improve public transit for our customers, providing more reliability and reducing repair time and costs,” said Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation. “This is just one part of our plan for reinvigorating and investing in our city’s transit future.”

The contract allows for the mid-life overhaul of 80 Neoplan high-floor diesel buses, built in 2000-2002, which will make up approximately 39 percent of the SFMTA Neoplan fleet. By replacing critical components that include the propulsion system, cooling system, pneumatic system, suspension system and doors, improved service levels will be achieved and the mean distance between failures will be increased. Other corrective maintenance work such as body and understructure repair and reinforcement will also be implemented.

The Neoplan buses serve 400,000 boardings per day. The Muni customers on the biodiesel bus routes where these refurbished vehicles will be deployed will be welcomed aboard buses that have new exterior paint and decals, fresh graffiti-resistant interior coating, new graffiti-resistant and brighter light covers, resurfaced flooring, rebuilt wheelchair lifts and more visible all-LED destination signs.

Reinvestment into the Muni system is an SFMTA priority and essential for safe and efficient transportation throughout the city as mandated by the city’s Transit First policy. The rehabilitation of nearly half of Muni’s Neoplan bus fleet, both 40- and 60-foot, began in 2010. Later this spring, the SFMTA will further enhance Muni’s bus fleet by adding 62 new biodiesel-electric hybrid New Flyer buses.

Muni’s bus fleet is one of the cleanest in the nation with 373 biodiesel buses, 86 biodiesel-electric hybrids and 313 electric trolley buses. These vehicles reduce the SFMTA’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 35 percent. Upgrading the systems and components of the current biodiesel fleet, while adding modern hybrids, furthers the SFMTA goal of improved environmental sustainability in its transit operations.

This rehabilitation project will rotate eight buses at a time. Turnaround time from start to finish for each bus is about 35 days. Service will not be impacted during the rehabilitation period.

The contract was awarded to Complete Coach Works for $19 million. Funding for this project is provided by the Federal Transit Administration and by California I-Bond and AB 664 Bridge Toll funds.

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