New Flyer of America has launched a new service that will automatically switch hybrid buses to electric-only, emission-free operation when they enter designated Green Zones in San Francisco. New Flyer Connect tracks bus locations through GPS (global positioning system) to identify “geofenced” boundaries identified by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
“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,” New Flyer announced. “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.”
About half of the 1,500 New Flyer buses delivered to SFMTA over the past 40 years have been based on zero-emission technology, said Chris Stoddart, president of New Flyer. “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.”
To handle the increased distances traveled with the bus engines turned off, the specially equipped buses are fitted with larger battery packages.