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Riding TARC has become more eco-friendly with hybrid-electric buses

TARC recently introduced hybrid electric buses in Louisville
TARC recently introduced hybrid electric buses in Louisville

TARC (Transit Authority of River City) now has 21 buses in Louisville with Gillig hybrid-electric buses. These new hybrids are silver with a new butterfly design that complements the silver bus design that was introduced last year.

The buses cost $558,000 apiece and are better for the environment, more fuel efficient, easier to maintain and smoother to ride than TARC older diesel-fueled buses.

These hybrid buses are a total win for the entire community since they produce less pollution, cost less to run and provide a smoother, quieter ride,” Abramson said.

“Not only will these hybrid buses help Louisvillians breathe easier by reducing pollution, but they’ll help save money,” said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3). “With lower maintenance costs and lower fuel consumption that will save 3,000 gallons per year, per bus, TARC will have more resources to create jobs and grow their services."

The hybrid-electric technology uses electric power in combination with a diesel-powered engine. This reduces the amount of oxides of Nitrogen, particulate matter, carbon dioxide as well as hydrocarbons.
And then there is the savings.  With the better fuel economy, there is an annual savings of 3,000 gallons per bus.

The buses are 40 feet long and have low-floor access. The hybrid's diesel engine is smaller. A regular diesel bus emits the most pollution when it accelerates from a stop or goes up hill. The hybrid bus uses electric power from its batteries to accelerate, drastically reducing emissions and eliminating tailpipe smoke in these situations. With less demand on the diesel engine, the hybrid buses are much quieter. This innovative bus also accelerates and goes up hills without revving the engine.

Hybrid buses also cost less to maintain, due to brakes that last twice as long, thanks to regenerative braking and no transmission to maintain. Sounds like a great solution to any city in need of more buses. Every city has a tight budget and these seem to be a great fit; add in the environmental impact of these hybrid buses and you would expect to see many more of them throughout the nation.

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