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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis December 2, 2011
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Video Highlights Fuel Economy of PSTA’s Hybrid-Electric Buses

As a result of seeing increased fuel economy on its diesel-hybrid electric buses, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in St. Petersburg, FL, is the subject of a video documentary being made by Allison Transmission to promote its hybrid bus technology. A production crew from Carmel, IN, spent several days in Pinellas County shooting the video.

“The fuel economy on our hybrids has been consistently 26-40 percent better than the standard diesel buses,” said PSTA Chief Executive Officer Brad Miller. “When the manufacturer of the bus transmissions found out, they asked if they could feature our buses in a promotional video. Of course, we’re always eager to be featured as a transit success story.”

Twenty-four of the 191 buses in the PSTA fleet are hybrids, with an additional eight hybrids on order. PSTA noted that fuel efficiency varies depending on the route: hybrid buses operating on lower-speed routes with frequent stops get the highest mileage because this service maximizes the use of electric power cells rather than using diesel fuel.

When the PSTA Board of Directors authorized the original purchase of hybrid buses in 2008, the board members were told to expect a fuel efficiency increase of approximately 20 percent compared with standard diesel buses.

“Not only are the diesel electric buses cutting fuel costs, but they reduce emissions by 90 percent or better over standard diesel models, so they benefit our bottom line, the environment, and our community,” Miller added.

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