Help Support EV News Report
EV News Report is not a non-profit

You are browsing the archive for San Francisco Archives – EV News Report.

Avatar of EV News

by EV News

August Transit Savings Report Shows Individuals Save $10,064 a year

August 20, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV Mass Transit, EV News, Politics, San Francisco

By American Public Transportation Association

Image courtesy of SFMTA

Image courtesy of SFMTA

Washington, D.C.  As students begin to head back to school and the rest of us head back to work after the summer vacation season, it is time to get back to work on saving money for next year’s big summer trip. This month shows that living with one less car and taking public transportation can help you save a little faster. The average annual savings for public transit riders was $10,064, according to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) August Transit Savings Report. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can also save, on average, more than $839 this month.

These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle which includes the August 14, 2014 average national gas price ($3.47 per gallon- reported by AAA), and the national unreserved monthly parking rate numbers.

APTA releases this monthly Transit Savings Report to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $166.26, according to the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study, which is the most recent report available. Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,995.

The top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass. The savings also factor in local gas prices for August 14, 2014 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*

 City  Monthly  Annual
1 New York  $1,247 $14,963
2 San Francisco  $1,102 $13,220
3 Boston  $1,087 $13,045
4 Philadelphia  $1,002 $12,023
5 Seattle  $998 $11,974
6 Chicago  $992 $11,910
7 Honolulu  $981 $11,774
8 Los Angeles  $939 $11,271
9 Portland  $897 $10,763
10 San Diego  $892 $10,703
11 Denver $878 $10,530
12 Minneapolis  $877 $10,528
13 Baltimore $861 $10,334
14 Washington, DC $843 $10,121
15 Pittsburgh $827  $9,925
16 Cleveland $823  $9,874
17 Miami $791  $9,495
18 Atlanta $791  $9,493
19 Las Vegas $781  $9,377
20 Dallas $777  $9,322

*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 8/14/14

APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the cost of the average monthly transit pass of local public transit agencies across the country. This information is based on the annual APTA fare collection survey and is weighted based on ridership (unlinked passenger trips). The assumption is that a person making a switch to public transportation would likely purchase an unlimited pass on the local public transit agency, typically available on a monthly basis.

APTA then compares the average monthly transit fare to the average cost of driving. The cost of driving is calculated using the 2013 AAA average cost of driving formula. That formula is based on variable and fixed costs. The variable costs include the cost of gas, maintenance and tires. The fixed costs include insurance, license registration, depreciation and finance charges. The comparison also uses the average mileage of a mid-size auto at 23.1 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA on August 14, 2014 at $3.47 per gallon. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. The savings is based on the assumption that a person in a two-person household lives with one less car.

In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States which is the most recent report available.

To calculate your individual savings, with or without car ownership, go to

This article is a repost (8-14-14), credit: APTA.

Avatar of EV News

by EV News

San Francisco Muni Fare Increases Go into Effect September 1, 2014

August 8, 2014 in Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV Mass Transit, EV News, Light Rail, San Francisco, Streetcar, Subway, Sustainable San Francisco

Photo courtesy of SFMTA

Photo courtesy of SFMTA

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), reminds customers that the Muni increase in adult daily cash fare from $2.00 to $2.25 will take effect September 1. Also, both adult Fast Passes and the Lifeline Pass will reflect a fare increase beginning with September sales period, which starts August 17, 2014 for Clipper sales.

Fare increases effective September 2014 are as follows:

  • Single Ride Adult Fare will increase from $2 to $2.25.
  • Adult “A” Fast Pass will increase from $76 to $80.
  • Adult “M” Fast Pass will increase from $66 to $68.
  • Lifeline Monthly Pass will increase from $33 to $34.

For more details, please visit

Photo courtesy of SFMTA

Photo courtesy of SFMTA

The price of the monthly passes and single ride fares for Senior, Disabled and Youth will remain unchanged. All qualifying youth are encouraged to apply to the Free Muni for Youth program, which has been extended to last through June 30, 2016. This program provides youth aged 5-18 living in San Francisco from low to middle income families free access to Muni.

The fare increases are based on a formula set in 2009 by the SFMTA Board of Directors to create a more predictable and transparent mechanism for setting charges. The formula is based on a combination of the Bay Area Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) and labor costs. Though the CPI-U suggests annual periodic increases, there has not been a daily fare increase since 2009 as the SFMTA Board of Directors elected to wait until there was a recommended increase of $0.25 based on the formula.

This article is a repost, credit: SFMTA.

Avatar of EV News

by EV News

Caltrain Communications Based Overlay Signal System (CBOSS) Positive Train Control (PTC) Project

August 6, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco, Trains

Image courtesy of Caltrain

Image courtesy of Caltrain

The CBOSS PTC Project is an advanced signal system that will equip the corridor and the trains with federally-mandated safety technology and will increase system capacity to help accommodate future ridership demand.

The project will monitor and, if necessary, control train movement in the event of human error. This will increase safety by:

  1. Eliminating the risk of train-to-train collisions.
  2. Reducing risk of potential derailments by enforcing speed limits.
  3. Providing additional safety for railroad workers on the tracks.
  4. Improving grade crossing performance to reduce gate downtime and improve local traffic circulation.

The CBOSS PTC Project is also a key component of the Caltrain Modernization Program, which will electrify the Caltrain Corridor by 2019. An electrified Caltrain will be cleaner, quieter, and will upgrade the system to provide faster and/or more frequent service to more stations and more riders.

This article is a repost (7-31-14), credit: Caltrain. Video courtesy of Caltrain.

Avatar of EV News

by EV News

BART junior engineer program aims to create pipeline of skilled workers to serve public in future

August 6, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Light Rail, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco

By Melissa Jordan, BART Senior Web Producer

With 47% of current employees at retirement age, BART needs an influx of engineers as surely as it needs a new fleet to replace its oldest-in-the-nation train cars.

Fortunately for BART riders and the Bay Area as a whole, a program is underway to recruit and retain those new engineers. And if early signals are any indication, BART will benefit from their fresh ideas and outlooks as much as they will learn from their jobs at the agency. It all begin with a summer engineering internship that morphed into a two-year junior engineer program, designed to offer mentoring and support as well as exposure to the many different career paths in engineering at BART.

“We are making an investment in them, but they have so much to offer us, too,” said Chief Engineer Don Allen. “They look at the world differently, both from an engineering perspective and also in ways to make improvements in business practices.” He said the summer internships and two-year intensive junior engineer program bring in employees with diversity not only of cultural and educational backgrounds but in technical skills and life experiences as well.

Take Aron Rice, a CSU-Chico graduate who was in the first class of junior engineers that started two years ago and recently finished the program, funneling into a regular job focusing on civil engineering.

Photo courtesy of BART

Photo courtesy of BART

Monday morning, Rice traveled to Daly City Station, where he had led a project to replace old crosswalks with more attractive and safer, slip-resistant ones using sheets of textured red brick material. He was measuring (see image at right) whether any of the new material showed signs of small cracks, using a tool that could check for tiny cracks down to fractions of an inch. 

“I’m interested in making things more efficient and safer, and in problem-solving,” Rice said. He’s also looking out for taxpayer interests — for example, working on a pilot project that will use recycled tires for an asphalt surfacing material that has a longer useful lifespan that traditional surfaces, as well as helping the environment by keeping tires out of landfills. “Often it costs less to extend the useful life of the existing infrastructure, and enhances safety, more than starting new,” he said.

Then there’s Akira Zamudio, a San Francisco State graduate who is in the second class of junior engineers and is focusing on electrical engineering. One of his projects is a plan for a urine detection system for elevators, which involves 21 sensors that will set off a siren if a person uses them as a latrine. “It’s definitely something that the customers can relate to,” he said, “because they care that we develop ways to keep the system clean.”

It’s tempting to think that new engineers might set their sights on working for the latest start-up, but interviews with several of BART’s recent recruits show that’s not necessarily the case.

“You can have more of a balanced life here,” Zamudio said. “Also you get a lot of guidance and see your results directly. Every time I ride BART I know I am contributing to the safety of hundreds of thousands of people a day.”

Debra Zepeda, a UC-Berkeley graduate who was an intern and also in the first junior engineer class with Rice, majored in civil engineering but interned in BART’s train control system and has remained there, working on projects such as new train control components that had to be tested on non-passenger trains during the “blanket” when BART is not running, roughly midnight – 4 am.

Photo courtesy of BART

Photo courtesy of BART

“It was interesting to work the graveyard shift,” Zepeda said. “There are so many opportunities to learn. We were testing for a cutover from an old system to a new system to make sure there were no glitches, and make sure it would be safe for passenger service. You are always learning on the job here, and you’re making a difference.”

She recently gave back helping current interns by providing feedback as they honed their final project presentations (see image at right with Zepeda, foreground, and Rice, background).

Zepeda grew up in Southern California and is impressed by the public transportation network in the Bay Area. “It is rewarding to be a part of that, to know how important BART is to transportation here,” she said.

Larry Stein, Zepeda’s supervisor and a mentor, said when she’s working on a project like the new train control system her ideas are as important as anyone else’s.

“We very much consider it a team effort when we’re out there testing,” he said. “We’re all in it together. They are not just a junior engineer; they’re a part of our group.”  He and Ken Beebe, who was Zepeda’s mentor during her internship, both praised her ability to adapt to something new — and they’ve encouraged her to go back to school for her professional engineering license, which she’s doing.

“She has a very good attitude and she absorbs everything,” Beebe said. “In our line of work you learn by being hands-on, and she adapts very easily.”

All of the interns and junior engineers interviewed expressed a commitment to public service, as well as a recognition that BART offers job stability and a more balanced work environment than, say, many of the more flashy private-sector start-ups that hired some of their recent graduate friends.

“I want to be able to have a life outside work,” Zepeda said. Others in the program talked about hobbies and interests from skiing to weightlifting to music, and about having time to spend with family members.

Intern Ferdinand Changco, a San Francisco State graduate working on traction power in electrical engineering, agreed. “It’s been a really cool experience,” he said. “I’ve been able to network with a lot of other engineers and work on different projects. There’s always a new challenge.”

BART Chief Engineer Allen, who began the internship program six years ago, said it will play a key role in transition planning as BART prepares for the succession of new engineers into its workforce. The participants probably learn about 80% – 85% “hard” skills in their field, but another 15% – 20% “soft” skills around leadership, presentation, interacting with other departments, working in teams, etc., he said. Interns are required to prepare a presentation on their final project (image of a dry run for those presentations is below). 

Photo courtesy of BART

Photo courtesy of BART

That’s important for engineers — perhaps stereotypically portrayed as loners laser-focused on their own narrow areas of work. Alvin Piano, another SFSU grad in the first class of junior engineers, said his BART experience has helped him to become more confident in speaking up to express his ideas and input. As the son of a U.S. Marine, Piano said he grew up in a “Yes, sir; No, sir” type culture. And while still appreciating the value of respect and deference to elders, he said, he now is more comfortable initiating discussion and proposing ideas.

“I am very proud to work here at BART and I’ll take on whatever tasks are needed of me,” said Piano, a young man clearly eager to show his work ethic and commitment — he carries around his first pay stub from a job as a teenager scrubbing toilets at a restaurant for $7.50 an hour where he worked his way up to server.

Allen believes those values will serve BART and its riding public well in the future.

“In the past BART was not always good about mentoring and developing talent,” he said. “With the junior engineer program, we have learned how to do better with that, and not just for interns and junior engineers but for all our employees.”

This article is a repost, credit: BART.

Avatar of EV News

by EV News

San Francisco Sustainable Race 11K (August 2nd), Join The Race

July 20, 2014 in EV News, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco

Online registration for Sustainable Race 11K 2014 will close at 7 pm on August 1st. Please pick up your race bib at Presidio Sports Basement on July 31st or August 1st between 4 pm and 8 pm. If you cannot sign up online and/or cannot make it to Sports Basement, we will have a registration and preregistration table open from 5:30 am to 6:30 am on race day, August 2nd. Race day registration is $30 cash. The race starts at 7 am.

Sustainable Race 11K Update

In addition to a Sustainable Race trophy and t-shirt, the winning male, female and team members will each receive a $100 gift card to Greens Restaurant. Greens is situated at historic Fort Mason and overlooks the stunning San Francisco Bay. Enjoy and say hello to Chef Annie Somerville.

Greens Restaurant

Greens Restaurant

San Francisco woodworking artist, Gerry Sierra, is finishing up the Sustainable Race kilometer marker signs, which will accurately mark the course, kilometer by kilometer. These signs will also have sustainability bullet points on them measuring San Francisco’s green credentials, which we will update, year by year.

Wearing a Sustainable Race 11K sweatband, Woodworking Artist Gerry Sierra displays his work.

Wearing a Sustainable Race 11K sweatband, Woodworking Artist Gerry Sierra displays his work.

AccuWeather is predicting a partly sunny and warm race day (August 2nd), with a high of 82 degrees, so we will add a tub of sunscreen to our checklist for runners.

We could use a few more volunteers out on the course, so please contact Jack Collins, [email protected], if you would like to volunteer.

About Sustainable Race 11K

Sustainable Race is a running race to foster sustainability awareness, focusing on San Francisco’s drive to 100% renewable energy. This is the first annual Sustainable Race.

11k-Flyer (1)

About EV News Report

EV News Report is a community blogging website for electric vehicle and greentech enthusiasts, as well as peak oil activists. We are sharing information and opinions to best facilitate the change from the fossil fuel age to a green sustainable future.

Two major world emergencies are driving this change:

1. There are over 7 billion people on the planet according to the United Nations. Today’s worldwide economic growth is placing tremendous demands on the energy sector. Unfortunately, according to the International Energy Agency, approximately 80% of the world’s energy is derived from fossil fuels. Absent an energy revolution, climate research tells us that the planet will be significantly warmer and altered for future generations.

2. The oil market is expensive and fragile. The door is open to green alternatives; however, high oil prices may destroy the currencies of oil dependent nations before the EV and greentech revolutions have a chance to reach mass adoption.

Avatar of EV News

by EV News

Ten Bay Area Local Governments Roll Out 90 All-Electric Vehicles

July 14, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco

Government fleet additions the largest deployment in U.S.

Photo courtesy of BACC

Photo courtesy of BACC

By Diana Chou, Bay Area Climate Collaborative

Oakland, C.A., July 8, 2014 – Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Keith Carson, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), and ten other public agencies today announced the rollout of 90 all-electric vehicles into the fleets of ten Bay Area local governments – the largest government fleet deployment in the U.S. to date.

The public agencies receiving vehicles are: Alameda County, Sonoma County, San Francisco, Concord, Santa Rosa, San Jose, Oakland, Fremont, the Marin Municipal Water District, and Sonoma County Water Agency. The Transportation Authority of Marin also participated with additional support for the Marin Municipal Water District.

This deployment is one in a series that the BACC and its partners are facilitating to assist public agencies in incorporating electric vehicles (EVs) into their fleets. Today’s rollout of 90 all-electric vehicles will yield operational cost savings of more than $500,000 and avoidance of 2 million pounds of CO2 over five years. This supports the region’s efforts to establish the Bay Area as the “EV Capital of the U.S.” and helps meet Governor Brown’s goal of 1.5 million EVs on California roads by 2025.

Alameda County has led the collaborative procurement effort for the vehicles and the forthcoming procurement of charging equipment later this year. The County will receive 26 of the 90 vehicles – raising the number of electric or hybrid vehicles in its fleet to over 50. Alameda County also received recognition this year for its EV work with the Ready, Set, Charge! Bay Area EV Readiness Award in the Most EV-Ready Large Community category.

“By replacing older fleet vehicles with clean EVs, we’re greatly reducing pollution while saving our taxpayer money on fuel costs,” Carson said. “By combining some of these EVs with on-site solar power charging stations, we are one of the nation’s leaders in the use of green vehicles.”

The all-electric vehicles – projected to be 64 Ford Focus sedans, 23 Nissan LEAF sedans and 3 Zenith vans – were purchased with $2.8 million in funding support from MTC, which offset the incremental cost of the EVs and charging infrastructure. Local agency vehicle replacement funds made up the balance of the investment.

“Today’s rollout is an important milestone. One of the cornerstones of MTC’s Climate Initiatives program is promoting the adoption of EVs. The introduction of EVs into public agency fleets gives hundreds more drivers the chance to not only experience electric, but to tell their friends, neighbors and co-workers about their advantages.” said MTC Chair Amy Worth.

Sonoma County and the Sonoma County Water Agency purchased 27 vehicles through the program. The addition brings the County’s alternative fuel fleet vehicle total to over 300, encompassing over 30% of the agencies’ cars, vans, and light duty trucks and creating one of the largest plug-in hybrid electric vehicle fleets in the country. “We are excited to add these vehicles to our fleet”, said Sonoma County Director of General Services Jose Obregon. “On the average, with our onsite stationary fuel cell, we are able to operate these vehicles at a fuel cost that is 83% lower than a conventionally powered vehicle.”

The number of vehicles being acquired by each agency is as follows: Alameda County: 26, Concord: 10, Fremont: 2, Marin Municipal Water District: 1, Oakland: 3, San Francisco: 14, San Jose: 3, Santa Rosa: 4, Sonoma County: 22, and Sonoma County Water Agency: 5.

“America’s future lies beyond dependence on foreign oil, and in San Francisco we are taking the necessary steps to jump start our green future today,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “In 2008, San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland committed to making the Bay Area the Electric Vehicle capital of the nation, and today we are investing in more electric vehicles for our City fleet and providing the necessary charging infrastructure to make EV a viable choice for our residents. We are saving money, improving air quality, and reducing greenhouse gas pollution because of our shared commitment to electric vehicles.”

The Ford Focus and Nissan LEAF sedans each utilize lithium-ion batteries to power the vehicles and use regenerative braking to recover energy while driving. The Focus is assembled in Wayne, Michigan, has an EPA-estimated rating of 110 city, 99 highway and 105 combined MPG equivalent, and an EPA-estimated range of 76 miles on a fully-charged battery. The LEAF, assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee, has estimated driving range of 84 miles and MPG equivalent ratings of 126 city, 101 highway and 114 combined. The Zenith Motors 350 Cargo utility van is assembled in Crestview Hills, Kentucky and has a range of 120 miles per charge with a payload capacity of 3,000 lbs.

Concord Vice-Mayor Ron Leone said, “Our fleet vehicle routes are ideally suited for EVs. The EV proposition makes a lot of sense for our fleet, and our fleet managers are excited to have vehicles that have far less maintenance required than gasoline powered cars.”

The participating agencies were brought together by the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), which is providing coordination and technical support for this landmark deployment. The BACC is also providing communication and education to other agencies on the benefits of EVs for their fleets.

Noted Rafael Reyes, Executive Director of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative, “These vehicles add to a series of fleet projects facilitated in the Bay Area by the BACC for a total of 140 electric vehicles in the past 12 months, with more to come, so agencies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower costs and insulate themselves from gas price hikes. These municipalities are demonstrating great leadership, showing the benefits of EVs in fleets and providing a model for other fleets to follow.”

About the Bay Area Climate Collaborative

The Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC) is a public-private initiative of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group established by the Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland to accelerate the clean energy economy. Major partners include Bank of America, PG&E, Environmental Defense Fund, industry partners including ChargePoint, Schneider Electric and ABM, as well as local governments representing over 70 percent of the Bay Area population. The BACC is driving electric vehicle innovation through deployment of over 140 electric vehicles and over 240 charge ports across the region; co-facilitation of the EV Strategic Council, the executive forum driving the region’s vision to be the “EV Capital of the US”; co-management of the region’s EV marketing campaign Experience Electric; and development of Ready, Set, Charge, California! A Guide to EV-Ready Communities delivering key guidance on EV preparedness. For more information on the BACC, please visit:

This article is a repost (7-8-14), credit: Bay Area Climate Collaborative.

Avatar of EV News

by EV News

Melanie Nutter and Pamela Gordon Join Presidio Graduate School as Experts in Residence

July 14, 2014 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco

Melanie Nutter at 2013 Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy Conference in San Francisco

Melanie Nutter at 2013 Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy Conference in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, July 14, 2014 – Presidio Graduate School appointed Melanie Nutter, former Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment, and Pamela Gordon, CEO of Technology Forecasters, as Experts in Residence for the Fall 2014 semester.

“We are delighted to bring these two exemplary practitioners to Presidio,” said CEO and President William Shutkin. “Each brings extraordinary experience and knowledge to Presidio Graduate School from the very frontlines of the field, in both the public and private sectors.”

During Ms. Nutter’s tenure in the Department of the Environment, San Francisco achieved an 80 percent waste diversion rate, reduced its carbon emissions to 14.5 percent below 1990 levels and was named the Greenest City in North America by Siemens and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Ms. Nutter has also served as the Deputy District Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi from 2005-2010, and is founder and Chair Emeritus for the Energy and Environment Circle of the Full Circle Fund. Nutter also served on the Planning Committee for the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network (USDN), and has been featured as a contributor on and the Today Show.

Ms. Gordon is the CEO of Technology Forecasters, a strategic management-consulting firm helping clients thrive through best-practice supply chains and profitable sustainability. She is a prolific author, including Lean and Green: Profit for Your Business and the Environment, and has been declared one of the “Top 10 Women of Sustainability” by

Ms. Nutter and Ms. Gordon join Cisco’s Director of Sustainability and Risk, Kathleen Shaver, to complete PGS’ full Expert in Residence slate for the fall.

PGS’s Expert in Residence program brings sustainability practitioners into the community to mentor student and faculty inside the classroom and out. Past Experts in Residence include Flextronics’s Senior Director of CSR and Corporate Responsibility Bruce Klafter and McDonalds’ Senior Director of Global CSR & Sustainability Jeff Hogue.

About Presidio Graduate School

Ranked the world’s #1 MBA program in sustainability, Presidio Graduate School educates and inspires a new generation of skilled, visionary and enterprising leaders to transform business and public policy and create a more just, prosperous and sustainable world. For more information, visit

This article is a repost, credit: Presidio Graduate School.