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New York City Opting for Hybrid Buses as Standard, Halting CNG


NYT. New York City Transit (NYCT) has decided to link its clean bus strategy to diesel hybrids alone, and to halt its purchases of CNG buses and the accompanying infrastructure build-out as well.

The New York Times reports that the decision will be presented tomorrow (Monday). NYCT has been very satisfied with the results of its diesel-hybrid tests (earlier post).

The transit agency hopes to buy 500 more hybrids on top of the 325 already purchased or on order.

A summary of the proposal, which a board member provided to The New York Times, details New York City Transit’s intention to reallocate money that had been budgeted for 120 compressed natural gas buses and 55 extra-long diesel buses. The money would instead be used for 100 hybrid-electric buses, with an option to buy 400 more in the future, and 20 extra-long hybrids.

New York City Transit’s clean fuel bus program, begun in June 2000, has relied on both gas and hybrid buses, but the gas buses require special facilities and equipment—like compressors, maintenance bays and fueling stations—that are expensive to build and maintain.

Compared with the compressed natural gas buses, the hybrids have better fuel economy and equal or lower emissions, the agency's chief maintenance officer for buses, John P. Walsh, said in a recent interview.

The hybrids are series hybrids from Orion Bus Industries, a division of DaimlerChrysler. New York is already tracking to have the world's largest fleet of diesel hybrid buses. Another 500 units would assure that.

The NYCT operates a bus fleet of 4,512.


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