Supervisors approve purchase of 185 new Muni buses

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of 185 new trolley buses, officials from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced Wednesday.

The 185 new 40-foot buses will replace ones that are more than 17 years old and account for 40 percent of delays systemwide due to mechanical problems.

"We desperately need the new 40-foot electric trolley buses to improve the ride for passengers and the impacts on our environment," Board President London Breed said in a statement.

The new buses will serve the hilliest and busiest routes so they cannot come too quickly, Breed said.

Electric trolley buses are rubber-tired buses with motors connected to electricity on overhead wires.

Transit officials said that though trolley buses can be less flexible than motorbuses, they are quieter, more energy efficient and less polluting.

Officials also said the trolley buses work better on hills, need less maintenance and last longer than motorbuses.