Reassigned Contract Would Allow CTA to Save $60,000 per Bus More Fuel-Efficient Buses Will Save Money
The Chicago Transit Board today approved reassignment of a contract option currently belonging to King County Metro, Seattle's public transit agency, for the purchase of 150 articulated hybrid buses. King Country Metro has an existing contract to purchase 60-foot hybrid buses from New Flyer Industries and today's approval to reassign the final option of the contract would allow CTA to assume the terms for a future purchase and negotiate financing.
The terms of Seattle's final option in the existing contract would allow CTA to lock in savings of $60,000 on the purchase price of each hybrid bus. In addition, CTA estimates that the hybrid technology would save the agency more than $900,000 annually in fuel costs and nearly $7 million annually in maintenance, parts and labor costs over buses currently in service.
"We can?t allow opportunities to reduce operating expenses and lock in reduced pricing to pass us by because of the unresolved funding issue. We have to ensure the efficient operation of this agency not only today but in the future," said CTA President Ron Huberman. ?The hybrids we have been testing have been performing above our expectations, so we wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to pick up Seattle's contract option at a significant costs savings. Looking ahead, a decision on whether or not to move forward with the purchase will be made based on our funding situation."
The CTA has been testing 10 hybrid buses equipped with a parallel drive system, similar to a hybrid system found in a car. The 10 buses have recorded nearly 250,000 service miles since January and registered only one in-service failure. The 40-foot hybrid's average fuel consumption is 4.43 miles per gallon, a 77 percent improvement compared to the 1991 TMC buses they will be replacing. The 40-foot TMC buses average 2.5 miles per gallon.
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.# # #