The Transit Authority of River City is increasing its fleet of environmentally-friendly buses with the arrival of nine new Gillig hybrid-electric buses. The additional hybrids bring the public transit providers green fleet to 21.
The funding for seven of the new buses were funded through stimulus dollars and two from a variety of federal and state sources. The hybrids are silver with a new butterfly design that compliments the metallic silver with red, white and blue decal design that was introduced last year.
The new fleet will be unveiled July 9, at the pavilion in Shawnee Park by Mayor Jerry Abramson, who will be joined by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-KY, Kentucky Transportation Service Delivery Director Vickie Bourne and TARC executive director Barry Barker.
The buses cost $558,000 apiece and are better for the environment, more fuel efficient, easier to maintain and smoother to ride than TARC older diesel-fueled buses. TARC officials say the new buses bring many benefits including:
Improving air quality and emissions reduced
Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) – 61% less
Particulate Matter (PM) – 93% less
Carbon Monoxide (CO) – 90% less
Hydrocarbons (HC) – 21% less
Reducing energy consumption
Better fuel economy with an annual savings of 3,000 gallons per bus
High Mechanical performance
Fewer brake repairs necessary
Sixteen times fewer transmission fluid changes required
No major mechanical errors
“Not only will these hybrid buses help Louisvillians breathe easier by reducing pollution, but they’ll help save money,” said Congressman Yarmuth, in a press release. “With lower maintenance costs and lower fuel consumption that will save 3,000 gallons per year, per bus, TARC will have more resources to create jobs and grow their services.”
A regular diesel bus emits the most pollution when it accelerates from a stop or goes up hill. The hybrid buses, however, use electric power from its batteries to accelerate, which reduce carbon emissions and eliminate tailpipe smoke.
The hybrid buses are also much quieter and cost less to maintain, which is certainly a priority for the public transit provider, which recently had to cut routes in order to fill a projected $5.5 million revenue shortfall.