DETROIT – A hybrid bus consortium consisting of 11 transit agencies in California, Nevada, and New Mexico has awarded a contract to Gillig Corp. for the purchase of up to 157 diesel-electric hybrid buses powered by General Motors’ advanced hybrid propulsion system. The purchase contract is the second largest since GM’s hybrid diesel-electric system debuted in 2003 and was spearheaded by the San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) in California. San Joaquin RTD formed the consortium with other transit agencies to boost purchasing power and reduce per-vehicle costs through mass ordering. San Joaquin RTD plans on buying 50 hybrid buses, while the remaining 107 buses will be available for other consortium members. Joining San Joaquin RTD in the hybrid bus consortium are the following California transit agencies: Benicia Transit, Fairfield/Suisun Transit, Golden Gate Transit, Humboldt Transit Authority, Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), Monterey-Salinas Transit, SamTrans (San Mateo County), and Santa Barbara MTD. Citifare of Reno/Sparks, Nev., and ABQ RIDE in Albuquerque, N.M., also joined the consortium. Deliveries will begin in mid-2006 and conclude in late 2007. The California consortium members are purchasing hybrid diesel-electric technology in part to help meet California’s stringent clean-air requirements for urban buses. The GM hybrid system provides transit agencies the option of a clean-air technology solution that has been reviewed and certified by the California Air Resources Board. Transit buses with GM’s hybrid propulsion system deliver significantly better fuel economy than traditional transit buses, cut certain emissions up to 90 percent, and have operating sound levels approaching that of passenger cars. Other benefits of the GM hybrid system include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life, superior torque, and better acceleration. The consortium will join the growing ranks of communities that are investing in General Motors’ clean hybrid technology. Currently, there are nearly 380 GM hybrid-equipped buses operating in 29 cities in the U.S. and Canada. For 2006, GM starts the year with an additional 203 hybrid-powered buses scheduled for delivery to six U.S. cities.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials