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February 1, 2013

TriMet adds 4 Gillig hybrid buses

Ribbon cutting (front row, left to right): Dr. T. Allen Bethel, TriMet Board member; Dr. Algie Gatewood, Portland Community College Cascade Campus president; Neil McFarlane, TriMet GM. (back row, left to right) Carmen Rubio, Latino Network executive director; Loretta Smith, Multnomah County commissioner

Ribbon cutting (front row, left to right): Dr. T. Allen Bethel, TriMet Board member; Dr. Algie Gatewood, Portland Community College Cascade Campus president; Neil McFarlane, TriMet GM. (back row, left to right) Carmen Rubio, Latino Network executive director; Loretta Smith, Multnomah County commissioner

Portland, Ore.-based TriMet and community partners held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch four new state-of-the-art Gillig hybrid buses into service. Federal grant funds were used to purchase these low-emissions, high-efficiency hybrid buses.

The hybrids, with technology similar to a Chevy Volt, will run one of the busiest routes among TriMet’s 79 bus lines. With the addition of the hybrids, 55 new buses have been put into service since October. Most of the new bus purchases were funded by grants.

TriMet GM Neil McFarlane said the new buses will run on Line 72 between North Portland and Clackamas Town Center, a 17-mile route with the second highest ridership of the bus network. It averages about 17,000 rides a day.

“These cleaner, quieter buses will be more fuel efficient and replace some of our oldest buses well past retirement that have higher emissions and are more costly to maintain,” said McFarlane. “These new buses will benefit our riders, but also all of the residents living along this popular bus line.”

TriMet launches four new hybrid buses into service on the Line 72-Killingsworth/82nd Ave, with an event at the Portland Community College (PCC) Cascade Campus.

The hybrids are expected to be 20% to 50% more fuel efficient, with 95% fewer emissions. The quiet electric motor has fewer moving parts than a traditional transmission, so they will last longer and require less maintenance.

TriMet is putting these cleaner buses along Line-72 because of its dedication to transit and health equity and improving the air quality of the community, since this line serves a disproportionally high percentage of low-income and minority residents who are impacted by high emissions from transportation and industry.

PCC Cascade Campus President Dr. Algie Gatewood hosted the hybrid event. “Thousands of our students ride transit every day to get to PCC on their way to economic prosperity, and now the ride will be a lot more comfortable and reliable for them,” said Dr. Gatewood.

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