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Friday, March 7, 2008

Hybrid Munis Turned Off by Hunters Point

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 8:26 AM

Muni will halt hybrid buses from running on the 54-Felton line that travels through the Hunters Point neighborhood, according to an article in today's Chronicle. The reason? People on the street have located the "off" switch. The hybrid buses start up using diesel fuel and then switch over to electricity. Designers saw fit to place an easily located on/off switch on the sides of the vehicles in an unlocked panel. When passersby flip the switch the "drivers can't accelerate, they lose radio contact with dispatchers, and the interior lights on the buses go out." In a feat of good judgement, the loss of power does not affect the breaks. Pat yourselves on the back, hybrid Muni designers! Replacement buses whose operation cannot be mitigated by a six-year-old will run on the 54 line until the hybrids are outfitted with locks. Muni officials could not say how long the adjustments would take or what they would cost. –Andy Wright

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