Citibus expects hybrid-electric buses to arrive in November - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/12/09

Citibus expects hybrid-electric buses to arrive in November

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By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A greener way to travel should soon be on Lubbock streets. NewsChannel 11 first told you that city council approved the purchase of hybrid-electric busses in March. Now, we're learning more about how much they can save the city.

Citibus General Manager John Wilson expects to have six new, more efficient busses ready to go around Thanksgiving. They'll save the city thousands in fuel costs, but buying them won't cost the city a dime.

Wilson says members of his staff will travel to California during the week of October 19th. They'll go to inspect the new, hybrid busses as they're built in Hayward, CA.

"We will benefit greatly from it," Wilson said. He tells us three of the six hybrid busses will be paid for by stimulus money. Two will be paid for by state grants, and one will be paid for by money from the Federal Transportation Administration. "Then, on top of that we have an added benefit of it's going to be more fuel efficient and clean for the environment," Wilson said.

Wilson says each bus could save around 40% on fuel costs compared to current ones. He says that's a direct savings to Lubbock tax payers. "This year we're probably going to spend close to $900,000 on fuel. If we had all of our busses that way, we would save close to $400,000 in fuel. If we had all of our busses, now of course, this is just six out of 96," Wilson said.

Wilson says the city's goal is to make their entire fleet hybrid. "From this day forward, our policy is to replace everything with hybrid-electric, even with hybrid vans; were looking at that next," Wilson said. He says they hope to have the entire fleet replaced with hybrid vehicles within the next ten years.

The new busses are also lower to the ground, which will make them more accessible for folks without having to use lifts.

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