Gov. Martin O'Malley announced today that the Maryland Transit Administration has taken another substantial step toward expanding its fleet of green buses with the addition of 12 new diesel/hybrid articulated buses. This will increase the number of hybrid buses in the MTA's active fleet to 193, or 27 percent of the total number. The purchase expands MTA's fleet of 60-foot New Flyer hybrid buses from 30 to a total of 42. An additional 57 new hybrid buses are scheduled to be added to the fleet in early January 2012.
"The new additions to the fleet are an example of being able to do the right thing for our environment but also the right thing in terms of our pocketbooks," said Gov. O'Malley. "By making these investments we're going to be able to reduce air pollution, we're going to reduce noise pollution, and at the same time we're going to be able to reduce costs to taxpayers."
MTA CEO and Administrator Ralign T. Wells indicates that the performance of hybrids in the existing bus fleet clearly outline the benefits of hybrids compared to conventional diesel powered vehicles. "The numbers tell the story," said Wells. "With the current diesel fleet major road calls occur every 5,695 miles vs. every 18,556 for the hybrid fleet. Fuel mileage is 20 percent higher, brake life is 25 percent longer, and hybrids are found to be 50 percent quieter than diesels."
The 60-foot articulated buses carry 100 sitting and standing passengers compared to 62 sitting and standing passengers on a conventional 40-foot bus. With the higher capacity, the articulated buses will operate primarily on the MTA's most heavily traveled routes.