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Release date: 1/6/09

*** Press Release ***

San FranciscoToday Mayor Gavin Newsom and Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. announced the release of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) 2009 Climate Action Plan (CAP) draft for public review. The CAP details the policies, programs, goals, funding and relationships with other City departments that are designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector and in agency operations.  A requirement of 2007’s Proposition A, the CAP has been crafted with input from numerous City departments, including the Mayor’s Office, the Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Department of the Environment, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and other key resources.

“In order to achieve real sustainability, we must address the global climate challenge at every opportunity,” stated Mayor Newsom. “In addition to pursuing our targets for reducing emissions among City departments, as citizens we can make an even bigger impact by changing our travel habits and working together on these innovative solutions.”

Leading scientific experts have indicated that worldwide carbon emissions must be reduced to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. Consistent with this target, the City of San Francisco has set a goal of achieving a short-term 20 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2012.

“We know that we need to improve Muni and make the bicycle and pedestrian environments more attractive to encourage people to get out of their cars to meet our ambitious goals,” said Ford, SFMTA’s Executive Director/CEO.  “The SFMTA is committed to finding innovative and collaborative solutions for reducing total carbon emissions in San Francisco.”

As an organization responsible for pedestrian circulation, bicycling, parking, street management and the Municipal Railway (Muni), San Francisco’s transit system, the SFMTA is essential to reducing carbon emissions in San Francisco. While the SFMTA itself contributes one percent to the City’s carbon footprint, it directly prevents much larger amounts of emissions by attracting people to sustainable transportation modes. Approximately 50 percent of San Franciscans commute to work by transit, walking, carpooling or bicycling – a higher percentage than nearly any other American city.

Since 1990, the SFMTA has replaced its diesel motor coach fleet with modern, low-emission models and introduced fuel efficient hybrid buses, all of which operate on biodiesel. More than half of Muni’s vehicles are powered by non-polluting, hydroelectric power, including light rail trains, historic streetcars, cable cars and the largest fleet of electric trolley buses in North America. Muni has also begun to implement its Clean Air Plan: Zero Emissions 2020, a blueprint for further reducing motor coach emissions and fossil fuel use through bridging technologies such as hybrid and fuel cell buses and cleaner fuels such as biodiesel.

Existing SFMTA initiatives will help reduce the City’s transportation-related carbon emissions as every transit passenger mile saves four total vehicle miles traveled; however, achieving the 20 percent reduction goal will require a major shift from single occupancy gasoline powered cars to transit, bicycles, walking and other sustainable transportation modes, as well as to cleaner automobiles and trucks.

No later than January 1, 2010, the Board of Supervisors will adopt legislation setting transportation sector GHG emission reduction goals. The SFMTA will work with stakeholders and other City partners in the next year to help set aggressive yet realistic future targets.

Members of the public are encouraged to review and provide feedback to the 2009 Climate Action Plan Draft for Public Review and may review the document at the SFMTA offices, 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103 or online at The e-mail address for comments is Feedback can also be mailed to the above address, attention: Climate Action Plan.

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