Friday, December 02, 2005

Well at least they aren't running into each other

You really got to hand it to the people who run our local transit systems.

Expensive new hybrid diesel-electric buses that were portrayed by King County Metro as "green" heroes that would use up to 40 percent less fuel than existing buses have fallen far short of that promise.

In fact, at times, the New Flyer hybrid articulated buses have gotten worse mileage than the often-maligned 1989 dual-mode Breda buses they are replacing. Yet the hybrid buses cost $200,000 more each than a conventional articulated diesel bus.

The disappointing results are a far cry from the rosy predictions made by officials.
In May of this year, when Metro held a public event to herald the arrival of the first of the new hybrid buses, County Executive Ron Sims said they would save 750,000 gallons of fuel a year over the Bredas.

Metro was the first agency in the country to buy a 60-foot articulated bus with a hybrid diesel-electric technology. It ordered 235 of them, 213 for itself for $152 million and 22 for Sound Transit. Metro now has the largest fleet of hybrid buses in the world.