Citibus will see nearly $4 million in federal stimulus money. Some of that money will put hybrid buses into the city's fleet.
Lubbock City Council approved the contract for the purchase Monday. It's the first big step in a "green direction" for Citibus.
Riders NewsChannel 11 spoke with are excited about the new hybrid buses, but say money for new shelters is what they really wanted. Rain, snow, sleet, high winds with dust bowls are all elements everyday Citibus rider William Higgins says he has to battle. "It gets cold and wet when you're standing out there," he adds.
Word of the new bus shelters was good news to Higgins. "I think it'd benefit everyone," he says.
Ten new shelters will go up around Lubbock in the next two months. Two of the proposed locations include 3rd and University and 82nd and Slide with a total price tag of nearly $70,000.
By December Higgins may be riding on a new hybrid electric diesel powered bus. "Main purpose is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We feel like we'll save the city money in the long run," says Citibus General Manager John Wilson.
Six new buses will replace ten 13-year-old vehicles and three of the six will be paid for by stimulus money and the remaining are paid for by a federal grant. Each bus has a price tag of $548,000.
"In the long run, they'll help the air quality. Lubbock's in a unique position because we meet all federal air pollution standards unlike most of the state of Texas," says Mayor Tom Martin.
Wilson says you'll know when the hybrids hit the streets, "you'll be able to tell right away," he says. The battery pack will be very noticeable - on top of the bus. He says that the new buses will be five feet shorter and the front of the bus will look different. He says one of the most noticeable differences will be the noise - about 30 percent quieter.
Citibus hopes to purchase 30 more hybrids over the next six years.
Proposed new shelter locations.
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