Stimulus bonus: Hybrid articulated bus delivered

The CTA today welcomed the arrival of the first of 58 articulated hybrid buses, paid for with $49 million in federal stimulus funding.

The CTA last year agreed to lease 150 articulated hybrid buses from New Flyer for $13.4 million per year. The CTA said in a press release: "Once all 208 articulated hybrid buses are in service, the CTA estimates that the
hybrid technology will help to save the agency over $7 million annually in
parts, labor and fuel."

CTA hybrid bus.jpg

Other features, according to the release:

"Characteristics of the bus include a plug-in feature that allows the batteries
on the bus to remain charged when the bus is not in use. Power is drawn from the
batteries to operate the auxiliary heater and circulate warm coolant through the
engine block during overnight storage in cold weather. This eliminates the need
to idle buses for startup.

"The bus has a smaller engine than traditional
articulated buses and is of the same design as the low-emission engines in CTA's
New Flyer 40-foot buses.

"LED passenger lighting on the buses makes them
even more environmentally friendly. The lights are long lasting and require less
maintenance as there are no bulbs to change.

"The articulated hybrid buses
have 10 security cameras: seven interior, an interior front facing camera and
two curb-side rear facing cameras that look down the side of the
bus - one
above the front doors and the other near the rear doors."

Chicago Tribune photo by Alex Garcia


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  • Great news.

    So did we buy these and we leased the other 150?

    Also, you still have to change LED bulbs contrary to the quote, just less often.

    Will these augment existing service or replace older buses? We're still "down" all of the 226 NABI buses.

  • At my garage all the NABIs have been replaced by hybrid artics for some time now, and we have alot. So I'm wondering if any of these new, new artics will be coming our way in addition.

  • Chris, puleeze....

    They are just going to replace existing service. Just because your Federal Government has come through to help CTA replace an older fleet (or, actually, a not-so-old lemon fleet), doesn't mean there's any more money to pay a driver to sit behind the wheel and drive it. No money to pay his healthcare. No money to get his pension whole. No money to pay the $4 gas CTA's still paying. No money. No money. No money.

    If anything, if CTA was smart, which the jury is still out on that, they'd actually use this expanded artic fleet (i.e., increased vehicle capacity) and thin-out the service levels, saving some operating costs. So, sorry to break the news, but these artics probably mean longer wait times, not less.

  • In reply to JMan01:

    There are easier ways of answering this, which Chris should have figured out on his own, instead of asking.

    If we are down 226 NABIs and have received only 153 articulated New Flyers, according to reports, and will receive a total of 208, how can you augment service?

    And if they were "Stimulus Funded" as the LED sign says, why would they have to be leased? It isn't like Huberman had to ask Traxis/Cerberus for funds for these, when they were "Stimulus Funded."

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