The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is gearing up for the 138th annual Preakness Stakes with the rollout of 10 New Flyer diesel-electric hybrid articulated buses.
The 10 new buses will increase the number of hybrid buses in the MTA’s local bus fleet to 361, or 44% of the total fleet. The new additions expand MTA’s fleet of 60-foot New Flyer Xcelsior hybrid buses to a total of 52 and will be on the street in time for Preakness this weekend.
The state-of-the art diesel-electric hybrid buses are expected to improve emissions, as well as decrease fuel usage and improve reliability — benefits that can translate into significant cost-per-mile operating savings.
“With the current diesel fleet major road calls occur every 5,695 miles versus 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,” said MTA Administrator Ralign T. Wells.
The new buses come equipped with a host of safety features such as “ProTran Safe Turn Alert” and curbside and street-side turn aid lights. The buses also feature padded passenger seats for improved passenger comfort, and increased seating capacity.
The 60-foot articulated buses carry 118 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. Like all the other Xcelsiors in the fleet, the new buses have disc brakes, which help reduce maintenance costs.