Alexandria Transit unveils new hybrid electric buses
Alexandria, Virginia’s first clean diesel hybrid electric DASH buses were on display for a preview at Alexandria’s City Hall on Dec. 8. The purchase consisted of seven 35-foot hybrid buses and three 40-foot hybrid buses. In addition, Alexandria Transit has also purchased five 30-foot hybrid trolleys. The trolleys will go in to service in April 2012, when DASH begins operating the King Street Trolley. The DASH buses will operate on an environmentally-friendly mix of ultra-low sulfur diesel and electricity.
The hybrid buses feature a wider body, low-floor entry, bike racks, improved mirrors, and wheelchair ramps instead of lifts. The touted benefits of the new DASH hybrid buses are:
• Reduced air pollutant emissions equals a cleaner environment and fewer public health issues
• Reduced fuel consumption
• Reduced maintenance required
• Average reduction of 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumed each year per bus
• The hybrid low floor design (no steps) makes for easier access, shorter dwell times
• Design includes a wheelchair ramp instead of a hydraulic lift for better reliability and access
• Smoother ride, quicker acceleration, increased transmission and brake life, and reduced engine noise
• Customers will notice a more spacious and accessible interior
The hybrid buses were purchased primarily with Commonwealth of Virginia State Urban Funds. Alexandria Transit also partnered with the City of Alexandria Department Transportation and Environmental Services, Office of Environmental Quality and secured an EPA Stimulus Grant that funds the difference in the cost between the hybrid technology and a conventional diesel powered engine, a difference of approximately $200,000 per bus. The five trolley buses were purchased with American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Stimulus funds.