Mayor Daley, CTA Officials Introduce the New Flyer Articulated Hybrid Bus

December 3, 2008

150 New Buses Offer Reduced Emissions, Better Fuel Economy, Increased Reliability

The Chicago Transit Authority has begun operating the first of its 150 New Flyer Articulated Hybrid buses, which will improve service, reduce engine emissions, relieve congestion and save money, Mayor Richard M. Daley and transit officials said today.

"As the rest of the hybrid buses are placed into service, the CTA will become part of a small, elite group of transit agencies that have a sizeable fleet of hybrid electric buses," Daley said in a news conference held at the CTA’s 103rd Street Garage.

"These buses will help the CTA save money, operate in a safe and environmentally-friendly way and improve bus service for the thousands of people who depend on it every day to get around the city.

"In this difficult economy, we need to be creative and responsible in managing government so that we can provide the services that are needed in a way our taxpayers and residents can afford," Daley said.

The hybrid articulated bus is at least 30% more fuel efficient than the current non-hybrid articulated buses in CTA’s fleet.

The articulated hybrids are able to hold up to 125 riders – the buses they are scheduled to replace are able to accommodate up to 80 riders.

"We are pleased to introduce these new articulated hybrid buses to replace older bus models along some of our busiest routes," said CTA President Ron Huberman.

"Older buses are costly to maintain and break down more frequently. As these new hybrid buses continue to arrive and are phased into service, not only are we improving fuel efficiency and adding capacity to our fleet, we are also able to provide more reliable service to our customers," he said.

The 22 buses now operating have been phased into service since mid-October and the rest will arrive by summer, 2009.

The articulated hybrid buses are equipped with a parallel drive system, similar to a hybrid system found in a car. Hybrid buses significantly reduce emissions compared with standard diesel buses and help CTA not only continue to meet, but exceed the new emissions standard. Hybrid buses are quieter, cleaner and run more smoothly than conventional systems.

Characteristics of the bus include a plug-in feature that allows the batteries on the bus to remain charged when the bus is not in use. Power is drawn from the batteries to operate the auxiliary heater and circulate warm coolant through the engine block during overnight storage during cold weather. This eliminates the need to idle buses for startup.

The bus has a smaller engine than traditional articulated buses. It uses the same low-emission engine that is used in CTA’s newest 40-foot buses. The engines have additional emissions technology – a diesel particulate filter – that removes soot as the exhaust passes through the exhaust system. The buses are 1,000 pounds lighter than their original design by using the smaller engine and a carbon steel frame that replaces a stainless steel frame.

LED passenger lighting on the buses makes them even more environmentally friendly. The lights are long lasting and reduce maintenance associated with passenger lighting systems – there are no bulbs to change. Since the buses eliminate the use of fluorescent tubes, it will eliminate CTA’s need to dispose of harmful mercury when replacing bulbs.

CTA estimates that the hybrid buses will save the agency nearly $7 million annually in maintenance, parts and labor costs over buses currently in service including more than $900,000 annually in fuel costs. CTA also saved $60,000 on the price of each hybrid bus by assuming the last contract option from King County Metro – Seattle’s public transit agency – for the bus lease.

The buses also have a total of ten security cameras including three located on the exterior of the bus. There is a front facing camera in addition to two curb-side rear facing cameras that look down the side of the bus – one above the front doors and the other near the rear doors. There are seven cameras viewing the interior of the bus.

"These buses are part of the future of public transportation across our nation – and once again Chicago is taking the lead," Daley said.

Today’s announcement followed yesterday’s announcement that the city had reached agreement with a private firm on a long-term agreement to operate the city’s parking meters.

Daley said the parking meter agreement will help protect the city’s finances and its working families in both the short and long terms.

The addition of the hybrid buses to the CTA fleet and the parking meter agreement are examples of the kind of out-of-the-box thinking the city has used to avoid some of the problems other cities now face, Daley said.

CTA’s lease cost will be approximately $13.4 million per year. The terms of the agreement allow CTA to lease the buses for 12 years and retain ownership at the conclusion of the lease. Leasing allowed CTA to begin to take delivery of the buses now, rather than waiting until sufficient capital funds were available to purchase the buses.

"To its credit, over the past several years the CTA has made many improvements in management," Daley said.

"The addition of these hybrid buses is another way we continue to get the most from every tax dollar and to manage the system better so that there is more money available to invest in service delivery.

"At the end of the day, what’s important is that we use every available tool to have a public transportation system that works for our people," he said.

# # #

 

 

150 New Buses Offer Reduced Emissions, Better Fuel Economy, Increased Reliability

The Chicago Transit Authority has begun operating the first of its 150 New Flyer Articulated Hybrid buses, which will improve service, reduce engine emissions, relieve congestion and save money, Mayor Richard M. Daley and transit officials said today.

“As the rest of the hybrid buses are placed into service, the CTA will become part of a small, elite group of transit agencies that have a sizeable fleet of hybrid electric buses,” Daley said in a news conference held at the CTA’s 103rd Street Garage.

“These buses will help the CTA save money, operate in a safe and environmentally-friendly way and improve bus service for the thousands of people who depend on it every day to get around the city.

“In this difficult economy, we need to be creative and responsible in managing government so that we can provide the services that are needed in a way our taxpayers and residents can afford,” Daley said.

The hybrid articulated bus is at least 30% more fuel efficient than the current non-hybrid articulated buses in CTA’s fleet.

The articulated hybrids are able to hold up to 125 riders – the buses they are scheduled to replace are able to accommodate up to 80 riders.

“We are pleased to introduce these new articulated hybrid buses to replace older bus models along some of our busiest routes,” said CTA President Ron Huberman.

“Older buses are costly to maintain and break down more frequently. As these new hybrid buses continue to arrive and are phased into service, not only are we improving fuel efficiency and adding capacity to our fleet, we are also able to provide more reliable service to our customers,” he said.

The 22 buses now operating have been phased into service since mid-October and the rest will arrive by summer, 2009.

The articulated hybrid buses are equipped with a parallel drive system, similar to a hybrid system found in a car. Hybrid buses significantly reduce emissions compared with standard diesel buses and help CTA not only continue to meet, but exceed the new emissions standard. Hybrid buses are quieter, cleaner and run more smoothly than conventional systems.

Characteristics of the bus include a plug-in feature that allows the batteries on the bus to remain charged when the bus is not in use. Power is drawn from the batteries to operate the auxiliary heater and circulate warm coolant through the engine block during overnight storage during cold weather. This eliminates the need to idle buses for startup.

The bus has a smaller engine than traditional articulated buses. It uses the same low-emission engine that is used in CTA’s newest 40-foot buses. The engines have additional emissions technology – a diesel particulate filter – that removes soot as the exhaust passes through the exhaust system. The buses are 1,000 pounds lighter than their original design by using the smaller engine and a carbon steel frame that replaces a stainless steel frame.

LED passenger lighting on the buses makes them even more environmentally friendly. The lights are long lasting and reduce maintenance associated with passenger lighting systems – there are no bulbs to change. Since the buses eliminate the use of fluorescent tubes, it will eliminate CTA’s need to dispose of harmful mercury when replacing bulbs.

CTA estimates that the hybrid buses will save the agency nearly $7 million annually in maintenance, parts and labor costs over buses currently in service including more than $900,000 annually in fuel costs. CTA also saved $60,000 on the price of each hybrid bus by assuming the last contract option from King County Metro – Seattle’s public transit agency – for the bus lease.

The buses also have a total of ten security cameras including three located on the exterior of the bus. There is a front facing camera in addition to two curb-side rear facing cameras that look down the side of the bus – one above the front doors and the other near the rear doors. There are seven cameras viewing the interior of the bus.

“These buses are part of the future of public transportation across our nation – and once again Chicago is taking the lead,” Daley said.

Today’s announcement followed yesterday’s announcement that the city had reached agreement with a private firm on a long-term agreement to operate the city’s parking meters.

Daley said the parking meter agreement will help protect the city’s finances and its working families in both the short and long terms.

The addition of the hybrid buses to the CTA fleet and the parking meter agreement are examples of the kind of out-of-the-box thinking the city has used to avoid some of the problems other cities now face, Daley said.

CTA’s lease cost will be approximately $13.4 million per year. The terms of the agreement allow CTA to lease the buses for 12 years and retain ownership at the conclusion of the lease. Leasing allowed CTA to begin to take delivery of the buses now, rather than waiting until sufficient capital funds were available to purchase the buses.

“To its credit, over the past several years the CTA has made many improvements in management,” Daley said.

“The addition of these hybrid buses is another way we continue to get the most from every tax dollar and to manage the system better so that there is more money available to invest in service delivery.

“At the end of the day, what’s important is that we use every available tool to have a public transportation system that works for our people,” he said.

 

# # #

 

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