Friday, May 28, 2010

Muni Debuts Refurbished Buses at Potrero Facility

     By Michael Donk

San Francisco - This morning officials from SFMTA debuted two of its refurbished, stimulus-funded MUNI buses at their Potrero facility, one standard 40-foot coach and one articulated 60-foot conveyance.  These buses represent only two of the 62 Neoplan high floor diesel coaches scheduled for refurbishment under The Motor Coach Component Life Cycle Rehabilitation Project.
     With $16 million in stimulus dollars, SFMTA signed a $12.6 million contract last September with Riverside, CA-based Complete Coach Works to complete the work.
     Among the most noticeable improvements were the all-LED exterior lights and placards, an updated operator seat and console, new rubber flooring, and graffiti-resistant interior light lenses.  All new propulsion systems, brake valves, and suspensions top a long list of under-the-hood goodies.  Other items newly refurbished were the wheelchair lift, five-position door controller, and steering gear box.
     The coaches interiors seemed simply cleaned at first, but upon speaking with SFMTA Public Relations representative, Kristen Holland, and with MUNI body shop employee, Wyman, i learned how much planning went into these refurbishments.  SFMTA Executive Director and CEO, Nathaniel Ford Sr., stated, "MUNI...must be capable of serving new generations of residents and visitors who will depend on it to get where they want to go in this Transit First city."
     My eye noticed the repositioned security cameras allow for a more panoramic view, especially when the coach is at standing capacity.  Many seats, although in the old style and color theme, were replaced entirely.  Finally, the newly renamed Clipper RFID-based receivers were mounted at the front and rear doors.
     The two coaches debuted today will begin service immediately along the biodiesel bus routes (54, 37, 39, Etc.), with more routes receiving refurbished coaches as the work on each coach is completed.
     The rehabilitation project will result in 20 new hires and 16 additional jobs will be retained as a result of this rehabilitation project.

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