Eleven transit agencies in California, Nevada and New Mexico place one of the largest hybrid bus orders ever.
A hybrid bus consortium consisting of 11 transit agencies in California, Nevada and New Mexico has awarded a contract to Gillig Corp. for the purchase of up to 157 diesel-electric hybrid buses powered by General Motors' hybrid propulsion system. The purchase contract was spearheaded by the San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) in California. San Joaquin RTD formed the consortium with other transit agencies to boost purchasing power and reduce per-vehicle costs through mass ordering. San Joaquin RTD plans on buying 50 hybrid buses, while the remaining 107 buses will be available for other consortium members.
"Our Board of Directors' commitment to the diesel fuel path led San Joaquin RTD to purchase two GM hybrid-powered buses manufactured by Gillig in June 2004," said Bobby Kuhn, director of maintenance for San Joaquin RTD. "Since that time, we have experienced firsthand the reductions in fuel consumption, noise levels and emissions offered by this technology. These fantastic results convinced us to purchase additional buses, and to share our experience with GM's hybrid bus propulsion system with other transit agencies. The interest in acquiring the fuel-saving technology was amazing, so a purchasing consortium was formed."
Joining San Joaquin RTD in the hybrid bus consortium are the following California transit agencies: Benicia Transit, Fairfield/Suisun Transit, Golden Gate Transit, Humboldt Transit Authority, Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), Monterey-Salinas Transit, SamTrans (San Mateo County), and Santa Barbara MTD. Citifare of Reno/Sparks, Nev. and ABQ RIDE in Albuquerque, N.M. also joined the consortium. Deliveries will begin in mid-2006 and conclude in late 2007.
Transit buses with GM's hybrid propulsion system deliver significantly better fuel economy than traditional transit buses, cut certain emissions up to 90 percent and have operating sound levels approaching that of passenger cars. Other benefits include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life, superior torque, and better acceleration.
Currently, there are nearly 380 GM hybrid-equipped buses operating in 29 cities in the U.S. and Canada. For 2006, GM starts the year with an additional 203 hybrid-powered buses scheduled for delivery to six U.S. cities.
The hybrid diesel-electric drive system is manufactured by GM Allison Transmission, maker of transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems for commercial trucks, buses, off-highway equipment and military vehicles, headquartered in Indianapolis. Gillig Corp. of Hayward, Calif., will manufacture the buses.