MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 29, 2005
Orion Hybrid/Electric Buses Are Key To Cleaner Air And Improved Economy

Demonstrating the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's strong commitment to Hybrid/Electric propulsion technology, MTA New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company have ordered 500 Hybrid/Electric buses from Orion Bus Industries. Once these vehicles are delivered they will boost the number of Hybrid/Electric buses running on New York City streets to more than 800.

This morning MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow, MTA Executive Director Katherine N. Lapp and MTA New York City Transit President Lawrence G. Reuter were joined by Daimler-Chrysler officials to demonstrate the advantages of Hybrid/Electric propulsion. Aside from boasting significant clean air advantages over standard diesel buses, Hybrids also consume, on average, 25% less fuel.

"We are extremely pleased with the performance of the Orion Hybrids we are currently running and look forward to being able to place even more of them into service," said Chairman Kalikow. "It is impressive that these buses generate lower levels of exhaust emissions while, at the same time, consuming less fuel."

Chairman Kalikow also took the opportunity to announce the MTA's nomination and selection for a CALSTART'S Blue Sky Clean Transportation Leadership Award because of its part in the development of the Hybrid/Electric bus. The honor is presented annually to companies, organizations and individuals chosen for making outstanding contributions to clean and efficient transportation.

NYC Transit has been at the forefront of Hybrid/Electric development with nearly a decade of experience running the technologically-advanced buses. Hybrid-Electric systems combine a generator, traction motor, battery storage system, engine and power electronics system. The technology is put to best use in stop and go operation-just the type of service that thousands of NYC Transit buses see every day.

The emission profiles of NYC Transit's Hybrid/Electric buses also benefit from the use of Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel fuel and advanced exhaust after treatment devices. It is important to note: Bus operators and customers both like the Hybrids. Customers enjoy the low-floor accessibility and quiet operation, compared with a standard bus. The vehicles also benefit from brisk acceleration and smooth braking.

The first ten Hybrid/Electrics were placed in service in 1998 and were closely monitored. The lessons learned were employed in the first large production order of 125 buses. Further improvements were included in second generation buses and further refinements have been incorporated into the current order.