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RFTA Putting Four GM Diesel Hybrid Buses into Service

Aspen Times. The Roaring Fork Transit Authority (Colorado) has ordered and is receiving four GM-Allison diesel hybrid buses. One has already been delivered and is going into service next week.

The Roaring Fork Transit Agency has been in operation since 1983, and is operated by a Rural Transportation Authority that includes the communities of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Pitkin County, Basalt, a portion of Eagle County, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and New Castle.

The hybrids are based on New Flyer’s new Invero model, with the GM Allison hybrid drivetrain integrated by Stewart & Stevenson. Stewart & Stevenson has done a number of such hybrid projects, including two hybrids for SEPTA (Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority); two conversions from series to parallel Allison hybrid systems for Tri-Met (Portland, Oregon); and two more conversions from series to parallel hybrid systems for OCTA (Orange County, California, Transportation Authority).

New Flyer offers a range of hybrid configurations, but the RFTA buses will be the first hybrids of New Flyer’s Invero model. The transit authority also ordered and has received ten conventionally-diesel powered low-floor Inveros as well.

“Everybody asks about fuel economy. I say don’t even go there. Buy it for those other reasons,” [Kenny] Osier [RFTA’s director of maintenance] said. If they get better mileage, that's a bonus to reduced fumes, emissions and noise, he said. (Aspen Times)

Three of the new hybrids are destined for valley routes; the fourth is being purchased by the city of Aspen for its in-town fleet.

The hybrids cost about $585,000 apiece, compared to $325,000 per bus for the standard clean-burning diesel model.


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