Olympia, Wa.-based Intercity Transit will purchase its first six hybrid diesel-electric buses, thanks in large part to $2.33 million in federal stimulus funds recently identified for the agency through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The Intercity Transit Authority unanimously authorized the purchase of the 40-foot, low-floor hybrid coaches at its April 1 board meeting. The buses will be built by Gillig Corp. The entire bus manufacturing order will total approximately $3.6 million. Transit officials indicate the stimulus funds will pay for four vehicles and the additional two vehicles are being purchased with other federal funds and a local match of $575,000 by Intercity Transit.
The new buses will replace six of the oldest buses in the Intercity Transit fleet, in operation since 1996 and due for retirement. The FTA suggests retirement of aging vehicles after 12 years. Intercity Transit, however, utilizes an extended lifecycle maintenance program for all its coaches and Dial-A-Lift vehicles to maximize fleet longevity. By the time the new buses arrive in Olympia, the older buses will be between 14 years old and 15 years old.
“Choosing transit for your commute is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your own carbon footprint,” said Mike Harbour, Intercity Transit GM. “We are pleased to be able to use these funds to make Olympia’s transit system even greener.”
The hybrid coaches are anticipated to arrive in Olympia mid-2010.