The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that it will move ahead with plans to lease 150 articulated hybrid buses from New Flyer Industries. In December, the Chicago Transit Board approved reassignment of a contract option perviously belonging to Seattle’s King County Metro for the purchase of 150 articulated hybrid buses. The CTA will lease the 60-foot buses at a cost of approximately $13.4 million per year.
The CTA says that the lease agreement will result in significant cost savings. The hybrid technology will allow the agency to save more than $900,000 annually in fuel costs and nearly $7 million annually in maintenance and related expenses. Additionally, the contract will lock in savings of $60,000 on the purchase of each bus.
The buses will be powered by GM-Allison’s parallel hybrid drive system. During the CTA’s testing of two hybrid technologies, the 800-series GM-Allison parallel hybrids have thus far proved to be superior to the 900-series ISE-Siemens series hybrids.
Delivery of the new buses will begin in August, with all 150 scheduled to be received by summer 2009. The new buses will speed retirement of the 4400-series TMC RTS buses, the 5300-series Flxible Metros, and the 5800-series New Flyer D40LFs. Approximately half of the 6000-series Flxible Metros are also expected to be retired upon completion of delivery.