Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) approved a contract for the purchase of 35 40-foot Gillig LLC buses powered by hybrid diesel-electric technology.
Fifteen of the new buses will operate in regular service while 20 will operate on VTA’s popular Express service routes. The buses will be equipped with reclining seats, reading lights, luggage racks and free Wi-Fi.
VTA’s current 425-bus fleet includes vehicles that have reached their useful lifespan with more than 600,000 miles on them and have been in operation for more than 16 years. With this new addition of buses, VTA will have converted one-third of its fleet to clean-energy vehicles, enhancing VTA’s bus operations that already achieves 90% on-time reliability and 99.7% service delivery.
The new buses are anticipated to have 25% better fuel economy, similar to the results VTA is experiencing with the 90, 40-foot hybrid Gillig vehicles first introduced into its fleet in November 2010.
“We’ve been very pleased with the fuel-efficiency savings and performance of the hybrid buses. Each new bus we receive allows us to replace 14 year old less efficient buses with state of the art, environmentally and community friendly buses,” said Michael Hursh, VTA’s chief operating officer. “Our customers are benefiting from the reliability of these buses and we are seeing near 100% service delivery which meets our goal to improve service and keep our customers satisfied.”
The purchase of the 35 Gillig buses totals $27 million and is funded by a Federal Transit Administration grant, State Prop 1B money and local 2000 Measure A funds. The new buses are expected to be in circulation by Fiscal Year 2015.