Don't expect Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to break out in the South Park Hybrid Song when the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's first hybrid bus hits the streets this month, but a lot of people will be cheering the changing of the guard.
The hybrid bus – built by Hayward, California-based Gillig Corp. – is the first of 20 that will be integrated into the AATA's fleet in the next year, replacing older buses as they are decommissioned. The AATA expects to replace all of its 69 buses with hybrids over the next couple of years. The price difference for first 20 will be paid for by a federal grant.
Of those 20 buses, 15 will be delivered this fall. The rest of them will be delivered in the spring. The hybrid buses are significantly more fuel efficient and produce lower levels of pollution.
This project is part of the mayor's initiative to make Ann Arbor more environmentally friendly. Earlier this year, Ann Arbor started a campaign to promote renewable energy by moving all its facilities to 30% renewable energy by 2010. Other projects in this campaign include incorporating solar power into a city fire station and the farmers market.
Source: John Hieftje, mayor of Ann Arbor and Terry Black, manager of maintenance for AATA
Writer: Jon Zemke