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Chicago Buys 20 Diesel Hybrid Buses

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has purchased 20 New Flyer diesel-electric hybrid buses as part of a larger US$95-million order of 265 new low-emissions buses. The hybrids use the GM-Allison parallel hybrid drivetrain.

The 265 new buses will replace existing vehicles purchased in 1991.

The CTA has purchased more than 464 new buses since 2000, and with the introduction of particulate filters and ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD)fuel has reduced the fleet total annual emissions by 22% (564 tons) since 1997.

The transit authority converted to ULSD in 2003, well ahead of schedule in implementing the 2007 Federal Emission requirements for reduced particulate matter and carbon monoxide.

CTA bought the 20 hybrids to evaluate their performance in Chicago’s extreme weather conditions (lake-driven cold and snow in the winter, heat in the summer). Performance results will help determine if hybrid buses are suitable as future additions to CTA’s fleet.

CTA currently has four Ford Escape hybrids in its fleet of non-revenue vehicles that are used by field personnel to monitor bus route performance, transport materials and travel to maintenance facilities. CTA also has 24 vans in its non-revenue fleet that are powered by compressed natural gas.

The order, approved by the Chicago Transit Board last November is funded with federal formula funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Illinois FIRST bonds from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).

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