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Washington Metro Plans $877M Clean Bus Buy

Washington (DC) Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) unveiled its five-year bus plan which budgets $877 million for buying 919 new buses along with other improvements.

Of the 919 buses to be ordered, roughly 75% are replacements for older diesels and will include 250 CNG and 455 clean diesel and hybrid-electric buses.

Metro currently operates a fleet of 1,443 diesel buses that operate  on ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and utilize after-treatment filters in an effort to keep emissions, especially particulate matter, as low as possible.

Metro also owns a fleet of 164 CNG buses that will rise to 414 with the addition of the coming 250.

Metro already has ordered the 250 CNG buses—the purchase was authorized in 2002. The agency hopes all 919 new buses will be delivered by fiscal 2011. The bus buys will drop the average fleet age from almost 10 to 7.5 years by 2010.

Buses also will be outfitted with real-time information capability, which will allow passengers to find out their exact arrival time either by calling the agency or seeing the information electronically displayed at major transit stops. Signal priority systems, which can hold a green light if a bus is approaching, will be expanded as well.


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