DaimlerChrysler Delivers 5 Fuel Cell Cars to LAX
BP and Edison Plan Major Hydrogen Power Project for California

Greater Cleveland RTA Unveils GM Diesel Hybrid Bus Rapid Transit Vehicle

An early rendering of the hybrid BRT vehicle.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) unveiled the prototype Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicle powered by GM’s diesel-electric hybrid system that will be used as one component of the city’s Euclid Corridor Transportation Project. The hybrid vehicles will run on what will be called the Silver Line.

BRT combines features of bus and light-rail transportation, including exclusive vehicle lanes, off-board fare collection, and fast loading/unloading low-floor vehicles which are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. BRT can provide significantly faster operating speeds and greater service reliability than conventional bus operations.

RTA placed a $20.52-million order for 21 of the diesel hybrids with New Flyer in 2004. The contract includes money for development and delivery of 21 vehicles, operator and maintenance training, and parts and maintenance. Federal funds will pay for 80%.

The 60-foot articulated vehicle uses two 100kW motors and a 600-volt nickel metal hydride battery pack in the hybrid drivetrain, combined with a Caterpillar C9 diesel engine. RTA is estimating a reduction of PM emissions by 90%, and an approximate 30% improvement in fuel economy.

The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is wrapping up a 12-month performance and evaluation test of the GM/Allison hybrid buses in service in the King County (Seattle) Metro (KCM) Fleet. Preliminary findings indicate that the hybrids deliver decreased fuel consumption of 20%–43% depending upon duty cycle, a 10%–39% reduction in NOx emissions; and a 51%–97% reduction in PM emissions. (Earlier post.)

Other benefits of the buses include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life; superior torque, giving 50 percent faster acceleration than conventional diesel buses and operational sound levels approaching that of passenger cars.

Currently, there are nearly 380 GM hybrid-equipped buses operating in 29 cities in the US and Canada. For 2006, GM starts the year with 216 hybrid-powered buses scheduled for delivery to six US cities.


Joseph Willemssen

"More cost-effective than light rail, BRT..."

I think that's debatable.


Hmm, that's a good point. Not being able to quantify that, I'll remove it.


As a Cleveland resident, I'll tell you that there is a light rail line that takes almost the same route. I don't know if this is supposed to replace the light rail.

The comments to this entry are closed.