New Flyer of America Inc. has successfully met and supported the launch of the San Francisco Green Zone requirement, using New Flyer Connect to execute GPS-triggered (geofencing) functionality with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and BAE Systems PLC (BAE).
Green Zones support San Francisco’s approach to greenhouse gas reduction, taking advantage of the latest battery-electric technologies to convert the SFMTA’s (Muni’s) fleet of hybrid buses into part-time electric buses, as an intermediate step on the way to full electrification of the fleet by 2035.
With this technology, buses will run part of their route on electric power, reducing emissions in specific sections of the city with the worst air pollution.
San Francisco launched the Green Zone program, creating the first program of its kind in the world with 68 geofencing hybrid-electric buses—around 8% of the SFMTA bus fleet. With a fleet comprising all-electric trolley or hybrid buses, the buses mark the end of SFMTA’s reliance on all-diesel engines.
The SFMTA will operate Green Zones (areas in which the vehicle will not produce any emissions) along several electric hybrid routes that eliminate emissions by running only by battery for key portions of the route. This requires turning off engines in defined areas, and instead operating only in electric or “EV” (zero-emission) mode.
The geofenced zones were chosen to focus primarily on Muni Equity Strategy neighborhoods—those neighborhoods in the city with high percentages of low-income households and people of color and where respiratory illnesses occur at a disproportionate rate. Green Zone buses have begun operating on the 28/28R, 43, 19, 2, 47 and 12 lines.
New Flyer Connect paired with BAE’s Hybrid Drive System and an increased battery package to provide electric-only propulsion for select portions of intercity routes. The testing also enables New Flyer Connect to offer “geofencing actions” based on bus location, with applications extending beyond Green Zones to garages, tunnels, steep hills, speed limiting zones, and other places where transit agencies are looking to automate bus functions.
The SFMTA decision to introduce Green Zones and expand its ZEB fleet is focused on delivering improved passenger experience and environmental impact, and fulfilling its strategic core value of “Clean, Green, and Quiet Mobility.” SFMTA manages all ground transportation in San Francisco, including municipal railway (MUNI) public transit, bicycling, paratransit, parking, traffic, walking, and taxis, and carrying over 240 million passengers per year.
Carrying 26% of all daily trips in San Francisco, Muni generates less than 1% of the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (and less than 2% of the city’s transportation sector GHG emissions).