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DTA introduces four new Hybrid Electric Buses

Published: Expires: 12/16/2009

Hybrid Electric Buses conserve fuel and reduce emissions

The Duluth Transit Authority has recently received eight new 40-foot buses – four hybrid electric buses and four standard clean-diesel buses. The DTA has had two 35-foot hybrid electric buses in service since 2007 and were able to purchase four 40-foot hybrids this year with special federal funding.

The new buses have been inspected and are being prepared for operation. They will all be placed into service by the end of the month.

The hybrid buses are powered by diesel / hybrid electrical propulsion systems that reduce emissions and conserve fuel.

Hybrid electric buses have enhanced acceleration, as they use electric power exclusively until they reach 10 mph. Hybrid buses run smoother and are quieter than conventional buses. Hybrid buses utilize a regenerative braking system that charges large Nickel Metal Hydride batteries whenever the buses are coasting or braking.

These buses are similar in design to existing DTA buses with a low floor that allows riders to take only one step to board the bus. This makes boarding easier and safer for many DTA riders. The new buses are equipped with rear destination route signs, which will allow riders to readily identify buses when making transfer connections particularly at busy bus stops. The new buses also have interior and exterior cameras for added security.

The new buses are equipped with these features: (Hybrid Bus Only in Green)

  • Equipped with 5.9 liter 6-cylinder, clean-burning diesel engine
  • Fuel economy is 22% better than standard buses (Hybrid – 5.6 mpg / Standard 4.6 mpg)
  • Hybrid buses produce 90% fewer emissions than the buses they replace
  • Hybrid electrical propulsion system reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions by up to 50%
  • Transmission blends propulsion using two electric motors - one for electric power and one for mechanical power
  • Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are non-hazardous, maintenance-free and have a 6-year life
  • LED interior and door-well lighting for passenger safety
  • Seating capacity of 38 with accommodations for two wheelchair passengers
  • Front end bike racks with capacity for carrying up to two bikes
  • Rear destination route signs for easy identification of buses when making transfer connections
  • Interior and exterior digital cameras for added security
  • Low floor vehicle makes boarding easy for passengers
  • Wide aisles for easy access to seats
  • “Kneeling” capabilities for easy boarding from an 11 inch step
  • ADA compliant front door ramps for assisting riders in wheelchairs and walkers
  • Improved heating and air-conditioning for passenger comfort
  • Air-suspension for a comfortable ride
  • Large bright electronic destination signs for easier reading
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