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Ann Arbor's New Buses First with Fuel-Efficient Allison Transmissions

The Ann Arbor Area Transpor­tation Authority (TheRide) partnered with Allison Transmission at a July 31 event to welcome the first of five dozen ­Gillig buses, becoming the first agency in the world to operate a vehicle that uses ­Allison’s new fuel-efficient ­transmission.

“We will continue to seek emerging, cost-effective technologies that foster environmental responsibility,” said Matt Carpenter, TheRide’s chief executive officer. “Allison Transmission’s solid reputation for quality and reliability have been at the forefront of our successful relationship. Pairing the brand new xFE transmission with our bus fleet will help us burn less fuel and serve as an important step as we implement both our new and improved services and our sustainability initiatives,” he added.

The new buses will replace older vehicles in the agency’s fleet and feature an updated exterior design that reflects the many service improvements in TheRide’s Five-Year Transit Improvement Program, which the agency launched in 2014.
The buses include conventional and clean diesel-electric hybrid engines; TheRide introduced its first hybrid-electric bus in 2007 and uses ultra-low-sulfur biodiesel in its entire bus fleet.

Allison is celebrating its centennial this year and has worked with TheRide for more than 20 years, according to Heidi Schutte, executive director of the company’s North America sales.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) speaks at ceremonies to welcome the first of TheRide's buses with new Allison transmissions.

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