A Transit Riders’ Association for San Francisco

Box 190966, SF, CA 94119 • 415/273-1558 • www.rescuemuni.org


November 24, 2002

Chair and Members
SF County Transportation Authority
1 Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA  94102

RE: Alternative Fueled Buses Resolution - OPPOSE

Dear Members:

We are writing to urge you to vote NO on the proposed resolution before the
Plans and Programs Committee tomorrow, November 25, concerning alternative
fuels.  According to the agenda posted on the SF County Transportation
Authority web site, this resolution is "to promptly initiate the procurement
of the 80 alternative fueled coaches needed to complete the replacement of
the bus fleet, and establishing as policy that the Authority will not fund
new procurements of diesel fueled buses.

While we are opposed to this in general because we feel that only Clean
Diesel buses (with particulate traps and ultra-low-sulfur fuel) can achieve
Muni's goals of reduced pollution and service reliability, we are
particularly concerned that the resolution as described will put the
Authority on record against purchasing any diesel buses, when of course
Diesel-Electric Hybrid buses run on diesel fuel.  Diesel-Electric Hybrid
buses have the potential to be the most reliable and lowest cost of the
proposed alternative-fueled vehicle choices, so they should not be excluded.

We also think it's a terrible idea to demand that Muni buy
alternative-fueled buses before its testing cycle has been completed.  Muni
is planning to release the latest test results in December - why rush to
pass a resolution now?  It would make more sense to make plans to buy new
buses, conventional or alternative-fueled, after the results have been
published.  Previous test results showed that both Compressed Natural Gas
and Diesel-Electric Hybrid buses had much lower reliability (at least 3x as
many breakdowns!)
than Clean Diesel technology; unless this has changed, we
would urge the Authority not to take any action at this time.

Thank you very much.


Andrew Sullivan
Chair, Steering Committee

cc:  Rescue Muni Steering Committee and Service Expansion Committee;
 MTA Director Michael Burns; Board of Directors;Citizens' Advisory Council

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Posted 11/25/02.