New hybrid buses to hit road late this year, save $7 million annually
The CTA is exercising an option it bought in December to lease 150 60-foot articulated hybrid buses to replace and update its aging fleet.
The board in December authorized reassignment of a contract option belonging to the Seattle transit system to get the buses from New Flyer Industries. That move locked in savings of $60,000 per bus. The CTA also stands to save $7 million a year in maintenance, parts and labor costs over the current buses.
The new buses will get 4.43 miles to the gallon -- a 77% improvement over the 2.5 mpg that the 40-foot 1991 buses get.
From the CTA press release:
Hybrid buses significantly reduce emissions compared with standard diesel buses and help CTA not only continue to meet but exceed the new emissions standard that became effective this year. Hybrid buses are quieter, cleaner and run more smoothly than conventional systems and new buses help to improve the reliability of CTA bus service for customers.
Leasing the buses allows the CTA to act now rather than wait for the do-nothing Legislature to pass a capital spending bill. I like how CTA President Ron Huberman is finding creative solutions to funding problems, such as this and the need to accelerate repair of slow zones.