The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis/St. Paul is putting 16 new shuttle buses, included a hybrid diesel-electric vehicle, into operation this semester.
First Transit, the university’s shuttle bus contractor, purchased the standard diesel buses — 40- and 60-foot Van Hools — while the university purchased the hybrid bus, which was manufactured by Gillig Corp.
Mary Sienko, marketing manager for Parking and Transportation Services, said the hybrid bus cost $505,000. “The university paid only 20 percent and the rest was paid through a federal grant,” she said.
The buses feature a new paint scheme, as well as the addition of a middle loading door, which will help to reduce dwell times by an estimated 30 percent.
Sienko said the university operates 22 shuttle buses during peak service, including the Connector and Circulator routes, plus the paratransit and Lions Research Building service. Ridership for FY2007 was 3.8 million.