Gov. Martin O’Malley announced the Board of Public Works approval of more than $35 million for the purchase of 53 hybrid diesel-electric buses for the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) from New Flyer.
The announcement meets the Administration’s goal, first outlined in 2008, that the MTA purchase only hybrid diesel-electric powered buses as older models are retired from service, with a stated goal of up to 500 hybrid diesel-electric powered buses in daily operation by 2014.
As a result of Gov. O’Malley’s directive, the MTA currently operates 215 hybrid diesel-electric buses, or 30% of the bus fleet. When these 53 buses come online, that figure rises to 40% of the bus fleet. The aggressive move toward hybrid buses is consistent with the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s Smart, Green and Growing initiative designed to achieve a more sustainable future.
The new buses feature ergonomic passenger seating, an advanced video surveillance system, wider exit doors, LED lighting, and tip-in windows for improved air circulation and passenger safety. The first of this latest round of hybrid buses will be on the street in September 2012, with the final bus scheduled for delivery February 2013.