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San Francisco orders 175 light rail cars from Siemens

September 19, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Light Rail, San Francisco, Streetcar, Sustainable San Francisco

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has awarded Siemens a contract to deliver an initial 175 light rail cars for its Muni transit system at a value of USD 648 million. With an option for an additional 85 cars, this is one of the biggest orders for light rail cars ever placed in the USA. With this contract, Siemens secures its position as the U.S. market leader in this segment. Every third streetcar or light rail car operating in the USA today comes from Siemens. The trains will be built at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, California, and the first cars are set to be delivered at the end of 2016.

“This order marks a milestone for Siemens in the history of our U.S. business. With our rail vehicles made in the USA, we’re already the leading provider and have delivered more than 1,300 streetcars and light rail cars in 17 cities across North America to date,” said Jochen Eickholt, global head of Siemens Rail Systems.

San Francisco is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the USA. The city is notable for its extensive public transportation network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni). Muni operates a wide variety of transport modes ranging from the city’s famed cable cars and historic streetcars, to light rail trains and electric as well as hybrid buses.

The iconic California city is gearing up for a comprehensive modernization of its urban transport fleet and plans to provide energy-saving, modern light rail trains to transport the city’s more than 700,000 daily weekday passengers. Siemens will deliver a newly-developed light rail car based on its Model S200 for the San Francisco order. The car is especially energy-efficient thanks to a light-weight drive system that recuperates braking energy, and an LED lighting system that uses up to 40 percent less electricity than standard neon lighting.

The light rail cars will be built according to the Buy America rules at the Siemens plant in Sacramento. Around 80 percent of the electricity used by the plant for manufacturing is generated by a two-megawatt photovoltaic installation on the building’s roof. The solar units reduce the facility’s carbon dioxide emissions by around 1,470 tons a year.

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, operating in the fields of industry, energy and healthcare as well as providing infrastructure solutions, primarily for cities and metropolitan areas. For over 165 years, Siemens has stood for technological excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality. The company is one of the world’s largest providers of environmental technologies. Around 43 percent of its total revenue stems from green products and solutions. In fiscal 2013, which ended on September 30, 2013, revenue from continuing operations totaled €74.4 billion and income from continuing operations €4.2 billion. At the end of September 2013, Siemens had around 362,000 employees worldwide on the basis of continuing operations. Further information is available on the Internet at:

This article is a repost, credit: Siemens.

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SFMTA Appoints New Director of Sustainable Streets

September 4, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, San Francisco, Streetcar, Sustainable San Francisco

Former Deputy Director of NYC DOT will bolster efforts for San Francisco’s complete and safe streets

Image of Siemens overhead wire streetcars for SF, start late 2016 Image courtesy of SFMTA Nanjing, China, recently initiated service of modern battery (Li-ion) powered streetcars by Bombardier.

Image of Siemens overhead wire streetcars for SF, start late 2016.
Image courtesy of SFMTA
Nanjing, China, recently initiated service of modern battery (Li-ion) powered streetcars by Bombardier.

San Francisco—The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), announced today the appointment of Tom Maguire as Director of SFMTA’s Sustainable Streets Division (SSD). Maguire, currently the Assistant Commissioner in New York City’s Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Division of Traffic and Planning will start in San Francisco, effective October 14.

“I’m pleased that an accomplished leader like Tom is joining the SFMTA in this key role managing the critical infrastructure and leveraging public dollars to create better sustainable streets,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Bringing Tom in at this critical juncture when voters consider a $500 million Transportation and Road Safety Bond in November will create a more reliable and affordable transportation network, keep pedestrians safe and keep our City moving well into the future.”

“San Francisco is at the forefront of creating safe and complete streets for a livable urban environment,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Tom’s leadership will help sustain the work we’ve done and take us to the next level in our vision to provide excellent transportation choices for San Francisco.”

“The Giants moving to San Francisco in the late 50s had a big impact in the baseball world, and Tom Maguire becoming SFMTA Sustainable Streets Director is a big win for San Francisco in the transportation field,” said Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Transportation. “Tom is a remarkable leader and oversaw some of NYC DOT’s major initiatives from PlaNYC and post-Sandy resiliency to the Select Bus Service partnership and Freight Mobility. We will miss his vision and energy in New York.”

Sustainable Streets is the SFMTA division specifically responsible for providing multimodal transportation planning, engineering and operational improvements to San Francisco’s transportation system to support sustainable community and economic development. Maguire will report directly to Reiskin and will be responsible for six coordinated groups within the division, including Field Operations, Livable Streets, Parking, Security, Investigations and Enforcement, Strategic Planning and Policy, and Transportation Engineering.

“I am thrilled to be joining SFMTA at a time when transportation is so critical to shaping the livability of the city,” said Maguire. “I am a firm believer that if we want to create a livable city, we can never rest in our efforts to keep all street users safe – pedestrians, Muni riders, drivers, cyclists. SFMTA’s embrace of Vision Zero shows San Francisco is serious about safety. Everything we do to improve our streets should put safety first.”

During his time with DOT, Maguire oversaw the agency’s Bus Rapid Transit, Freight Mobility, Peak Rate Parking (PARK Smart), and Alternative Fuels programs. He has been working on road pricing and parking pricing for DOT since the effort to implement congestion pricing in Manhattan in 2007-2008, and has led the agency’s effort to develop Drive Smart, a technology partnership with the insurance industry to improve traffic safety while saving drivers time and money. In his time at DOT, he has managed the transportation elements of the City’s 2007 PlaNYC strategic plan and the transportation resiliency strategy in the City’s Stronger, More Resilient New York plan to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. He has also found ways to use innovative data sources to demonstrate the transportation and economic benefits of livable streets. Prior to joining DOT, he worked at the engineering and design firm Arup, and holds a degree in city planning from UC Berkeley.

“From rolling out the fastest bus routes in New York City to devising groundbreaking parking policies, Tom Maguire worked on some of the most innovative changes to New York City streets over the last eight years,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, former NYC DOT Commissioner and Principal at Bloomberg Associates. “But the Big Apple’s loss is the Bay Area’s gain. With his one-of-a-kind mix of creative policy skills, technical expertise and political savvy, there’s no one better equipped to deliver world-class streets and chart San Francisco on a course to safer, more sustainable future.”

Established by voter proposition in 1999, the SFMTA, a department of the City and County of San Francisco, oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), parking and traffic, bicycling, walking and taxis. With five modes of transit, Muni has approximately 700,000 passenger boardings each day. Over 35,000 extra vehicles enter San Francisco on any given business day, and rely on the SFMTA to keep the flow of cars, transit vehicles, taxis, delivery trucks, pedestrians and bicycles moving smoothly through the streets.

This article is a repost, credit: SFMTA.

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Raley’s Supermarkets and NRG eVgo Deliver a First to Bay Area Electric Vehicle Drivers

August 13, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, Sustainable San Francisco

Newest Standard in Fast-Charging and Charging for All EVs in Mountain View

Photo courtesy of NRG

Photo courtesy of NRG

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – NRG eVgo (ee-vee-go) and Raley’s Supermarkets are introducing the first electric vehicle (EV) fast charging station at a retail location in Northern California that features both industry standard fast chargers: CHAdeMO and SAE Combo. Located at Nob Hill supermarket in Mountain View, this Freedom Station® is the first to incorporate the new SAE Combo fast charge standard being introduced on many new EVs at a Northern California retail location.

“NRG eVgo is proud to offer this Northern California EV industry first in partnership with grocery industry leader Raley’s. Now, drivers on the peninsula have reliable and convenient charging at another great Bay Area shopping location as well as access to all industry charging standards,” said Terry O’Day, Vice President of NRG eVgo in California. “Together with this Freedom Station, both companies are serving busy families with goods and services that make everyday living easier and healthier.”

The Raley’s Nob Hill Freedom Station in Mountain View supports all EV drivers; regardless of what kind of electric vehicle they drive and expands the NRG eVgo network to 16 fast charge sites in the Bay Area giving drivers the freedom to comfortably drive electric vehicles throughout the region.

“We are installing these convenient chargers as a service to our very sustainably-minded customers,” said Meg Burritt, Raley’s Director of Wellness & Sustainability. “This new opportunity to recharge your EV while shopping for groceries at our store is our way of saying thank you for choosing an EV. Raley’s is here to make it easier for you to accomplish your daily tasks in a more convenient way.”

All Freedom Station sites currently include CHAdeMO DC fast chargers that can charge an electric vehicle in less than 30 minutes, as well as a standard Level 2 charger to serve EVs that do not have a fast charging option.   By adding SAE Combo DC fast chargers at California Freedom Station locations, eVgo furthers its commitment to support all EV drivers wherever and however they choose to charge.  Most sites are available 24/7, are positioned near retail stores and restaurants to provide the option to shop or eat while charging and are available to area EV drivers through a variety of charging plans or a no subscription pay per use option.

Raley’s Nob Hill store in Mountain View offers customers a variety of ways to make healthy choices for themselves, their families and the environment.

“Our customers’ response to the units so far has been positive,” said Dan Dodds, Store Team Leader. “They are excited to be able to charge their cars while shopping with us.”

About Raley’s Family of Fine Stores

Raley’s is a privately owned, family operated supermarket chain with headquarters in West Sacramento, CA. The company operates 119 stores in Northern California and Nevada under four banners: Raley’s Supermarkets, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source. Raley’s was founded in 1935 by Tom Raley and is a major grocery chain best known for high quality products, fresh produce, fine meats and outstanding customer service. Raley’s strives to make its customers’ lives easier and better by delivering a personalized food shopping experience. For more information, visit

About NRG eVgo

The NRG eVgo SM network gives electric vehicle (EV) owners new freedom and range confidence via home and workplace charging docks plus a network of fast charging stations conveniently located at retailers along major transportation corridors within eVgo cities. Service plans offered by eVgo can provide EV owners a home charger and unlimited use of eVgo’s Freedom Station® sites – all for one low monthly fee.  eVgo is a subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 250 company at the forefront of changing how people think about, buy and use energy. Through eVgo, NRG will provide access to hundreds of public charging sites across the United States. To find out more, or to join the eVgo network, visit Connect with eVgo on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgevgo.

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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.

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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.