— The National Park Service took delivery of a new fleet of 18 Gillig shuttle buses to Yosemite National Park on April 25.The new buses are powered by GM’s advanced hybrid technology. This is the first fleet of hybrid buses to operate in a U.S. National Park.The hybrid buses will be maintained and operated by DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. The buses will shuttle visitors in Yosemite Valley and in the Mariposa Grove of Sequoias. Yosemite joins the ranks of cities, counties and transit authorities that have invested in GM’s advanced hybrid propulsion system for buses, which offers greater fuel economy and dramatically lower emissions over conventional diesel buses. GM hybrid-equipped buses are operating in 22 cities across the country.The clean hybrid technology is manufactured by GM Allison Transmission, maker of transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems for commercial trucks, buses, off-highway equipment and military vehicles, headquartered in Indianapolis. Gillig Corp. of Hayward, Calif., manufactured the buses, as well as most of the diesel buses being replaced. Many were more than 20 years old.“This bus uses the parallel hybrid architecture, and has served as a starting point for GM’s co-development of a two-mode full hybrid system for applications in trucks, cars and sport utility vehicles with a variety of drive configurations,” said Tom Stephens, group vice president of GM Powertrain. “GM will launch the two-mode full hybrid in 2007 in the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.” The hybrid buses will operate year-round, carry up to 1,050 passengers per hour, and provide continuous service to visitors for 15 hours a day. Yosemite Valley ridership averages 17,800 passengers per day on busy days and can reach up to 23,000 passengers.