New Flyer of America Inc. today announced it 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.
Green Zones support San Francisco’s approach to greenhouse gas reduction, taking advantage of the latest battery-electric technologies to convert the SFMTA’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 new 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 eight percent of the SFMTA bus fleet. With a fleet comprised of entirely all-electric trolley or hybrid buses, the buses mark the end of SFMTA’s reliance on all-diesel engines.
“For the past four decades, New Flyer and SFMTA have collaborated to promote clean electric energy for transit buses. Since then, we have delivered over 1,500 buses to San Francisco – with nearly half equipped with zero-emission technology,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer. “We are proud to support SFMTA’s remarkable evolution in sustainable transportation: not only do Green Zones illustrate the power of data-driven solutions through New Flyer Connect, but the initiative has furthered our commitment to smart mobility using onboard performance reporting.”
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 zero-emission (EV) mode. The SFMTA has identified Green Zones on routes 43, 47, 12, 2, 19 and 28 throughout the city.
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.
“SFMTA is committed to providing reliable and sustainable transportation for the city of San Francisco with a clear vision and plan for increasingly cleaner mobility,” said Julie Kirschbaum, Director of Transit, SFMTA. “We continue driving innovation in public transit and are thrilled to work with New Flyer to provide a scalable green solution through the synergy of battery-electric and connected geofencing technologies.”
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.