Hybrid MUNI Buses Seen in the Wild

http://sf.metblogs.com/archives/images/2006/08/MUNI_hybrid-thumb.jpgThe Hybrid Diesel-Electric MUNI Buses were announced a couple of months ago, yet I failed to pick up on this news until I saw one of these lovelies downtown on the 38 route yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, I was pleased to learn of this development.

The only visible difference in these buses (besides its brand-new shine) are the nice big, rectangular windows on the sides. The current fleet seems to have smaller, rounded corner windows. There were no passengers in the bus I saw yesterday, but it had some sand bags scattered around the seats for weight. The electronic marquee stated that it was a new bus in testing.

An advert on the back of the bus claims that it was one out of 86 new hybrid buses to roll out (pun kinda intended) this year. The bus model being used (the Orion VII) are the same types of buses now being used in NYC and Toronto. They were tested for their ability to climb steep hills, which, of course, is essential here in SF.

These hybrid buses are part of the Zero Emissions 2020 Plan, which aims for MUNI to consist of an all-electric fleet by 2020.

Photo above courtesy of BAE Systems

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