By the end of the month, Muni plans to roll out the first of 62 new low-floor hybrid buses, SF Municipal Transportation Agency Director Ed Reiskin said at a board of directors meeting last week.
Muni will receive 13 of the 40-foot-long buses and put one of them into service by April, he said. Then, starting in May, the agency will begin testing and rolling out 5 buses per week over three months.
As we reported in September, the SFMTA purchased 45 of the 2013 New Flyer buses, but Reiskin said the agency was able to add 17 more to the contract in late October [PDF] by getting in on a purchase “consortium” and obtaining more funds from the Federal Transit Administration and local Prop K sales taxes. The total cost of the contract was increased from $36.9 million to $48.7 million.
Reiskin noted that these are Muni’s first new buses since 2007, and that they should reduce the transit system’s notoriously high rate of breakdowns. “As you know, we have one of the oldest bus fleets in the nation,” he said. “This is a long time coming.”