Vail testing hybrid bus in town today |

Vail testing hybrid bus in town today

Daily Staff Writer

Vail take a ride on the hybrid side today, testing a hybrid diesel/electric bus.

A new, 40-foot low-floor transit bus that demonstrates hybrid diesel-electric technology will make the rounds in Vail today, as the town explores new technology options for replacing its existing low-floor buses.

The hybrid bus, manufactured by Gillig, will be driven on the in-town route at various times after 11 a.m. today.

Hybrid buses use a combination of electricity and diesel to power the vehicle, increasing fuel economy up to 60 percent and reducing emissions, such as carbon monoxide, by up to 90 percent. The hybrid buses cost about $100,000 more than diesel buses.

In addition to collecting feedback from riders and drivers, the bus will be inspected by the town’s fleet maintenance staff. Also, noise tests will be conducted and compared with the existing fleet.

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The town currently runs 10 diesel powered low-floor buses. The replacement schedule calls for acquisition of one hybrid bus in 2005 as a test, with additional buses to be purchased in 2008 and 2010. The pilot program will determine if hybrids can operate economically, effectively and reliably in Vail.

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