April 15, 2009

Nashville MTA articulated hybrid buses enter service


Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and several others took a ride on one of the new buses as they were officially put into service. Photo courtesy Nashville MTA/Gary Layda.


The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) debuted its new fleet of six 60-foot, articulated hybrid buses Tuesday. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and several others took a ride on one of the new buses as they were officially put into service.

“The addition of six new hybrid buses to MTA’s fleet is a positive step forward for public transit in our city, both environmentally and in terms of enhancing service,” Dean said.

These buses operate with an alternate fuel system, possess the latest in passenger features and should help to alleviate the standing-room only issue on some of MTA’s most popular routes, according to agency officials. Made by North American Bus Industries (NABI), the new technology is ideal for regular route and bus rapid transit (BRT) applications.

“These environmentally-friendly buses are a part of our commitment to growing public transit in Nashville,” MTA CEO Paul J. Ballard said. “The buses offer the latest in passenger comfort and amenities as well as help the environment by using less fuel since they are hybrids. We are excited to get them into service and will use them for the initial phase of a planned bus rapid transit project this summer."

MTA put three of the six new buses into service today on route 26 Gallatin Road, which will become Nashville’s first BRT when other hybrid buses arrive and other infrastructure improvements are made along the corridor, such as traffic signal light extenders and new bus shelters.

The remaining 60-foot hybrid buses will be put into service later this week.

The open design of these buses and the wider aisles give riders a more spacious feel. Plus, all of the new buses are ADA-compliant and equipped with bike racks.

Other features of the new hybrid BRT buses include:
• Ample seating for up to 62 passengers with room for additional standing passengers (total capacity: 100);
• alternate fuel system – diesel and electric hybrid;
• more fuel-efficient and require less fill-ups;
• reduced exterior noise levels; and
• low-floor kneeling bus with no steps makes boarding and exiting easier and faster.

These six buses were purchased with Metro funds. Additional hybrid buses will be purchased with transit stimulus funds later this year for the planned BRT along Gallatin Road.

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