The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) rolled out 6 more hybrid buses to its mass transit fleet. The buses, manufactured by Gillig, are powered by General Motors’ diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system.
The 6 buses are the first to be delivered to a hybrid bus purchasing consortium, announced in January, consisting of numerous transit agencies in California and elsewhere. San Joaquin RTD spearheaded the consortium to boost purchasing power and reduce per-vehicle costs through mass ordering. The consortium plans to purchase up to 157 GM hybrid-powered buses, including 50 to San Joaquin RTD. (Earlier post.)
These hybrid buses will help San Joaquin RTD fulfill its commitment to significantly minimize air emissions, which in turn reduces the environmental impact to our region's land and water. They also will help RTD and the other consortium members realize significant fuel cost savings by using GM's diesel-electric hybrid systems.—Donna Kelsay, RTD’s general manager/CEO
The GM advanced hybrid propulsion technology—which is the basis for the two-mode hybrid powertrain development work undertaken by GM, DaimlerChrysler and BMW for light-duty vehicles—delivers significantly better fuel economy than traditional buses and produce up to 60% fewer oxides of nitrogen emissions and 90% fewer particulate, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions than the buses they replace.
Other benefits of the buses include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life; providing 50% faster acceleration compared with conventional diesel buses, and operational sound levels approaching that of passenger cars.
Since 2004, more than 475 GM hybrid-powered buses have been delivered to 38 communities in the US and Canada. The estimated annual combined fuel savings for the 475 GM hybrid-powered buses is 700,000 gallons.