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July 3rd, 2013

Orange unveils hybrid diesel-electric buses

Orange County recently unveiled the county’s new hybrid diesel-electric buses, which were made possible through funding from the Federal Transit Authority and will be put into service this summer.

GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana and Commissioner of Planning David Church have recently unveiled the County’s new hybrid diesel-electric buses. Orange County was able to purchase 15 new state-of-the-art hybrid diesel electric buses through the help of funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The buses will be used to expand the County’s public transit fleet and will be put into service in the areas of Middletown, Newburgh, Kiryas Joel, and Town of Warwick this summer. Two of the buses were on display for municipal leaders, Planning staff, and others to preview at the County’s Emergency Services Building in Goshen for a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

All of the new hybrid buses were purchased by Orange County for use by public transit operators in the designated municipalities and surrounding areas. Funding for 13 of the buses was reimbursed 100% by the FTA with funding provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The remaining two buses were reimbursed with 80% FTA funding matched by New York State and the public operator.

"We are looking forward to introducing these new hybrid buses into our transit fleet," said County Executive Diana. "This is a great example of how collaboration between various levels of government and the private sector allows us to stretch funding a little farther so that we may enhance services to County residents."

Six buses will be going to the Newburgh Beacon Bus Company which operates both the local service and the Newburgh Beacon Shuttle. Five buses will be going to Kiryas Joel and three to Middletown Transit which operates the local transit service in the Middletown area. The Town of Warwick transit service will receive one bus. Most of the buses are replacing older buses in the operator fleets which have already met useful service life criteria. Two hybrids will be new to the Newburgh Area local transit service to provide capacity for planned expansion of service to begin later this year.

Diesel-electric hybrid buses use both a diesel engine and an electric motor, the same concept used for hybrid automobiles. Batteries store energy to provide electric power to the bus transmission and recharge from the bus braking system as it decelerates. When demand for power exceeds battery capacity, the diesel engine provides the needed energy. All the new

Transit Orange hybrid buses have been manufactured by The Gillig Corporation and are powered by GM Allison diesel engines coupled with the latest parallel hybrid drive technology. The electric hybrid drive uses a long life and maintenance free Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery, which captures and stores energy from the bus brakes while the bus is operating. Advanced solid state controllers manage and blend power from the diesel and electric power sources to optimize performance and efficiency.

"Not only are these new hybrid buses a great enhancement for the riders who use them, they’re beneficial to the environment as well," said Commissioner Church. "They offer a smoother, quieter ride than conventional buses and each bus is fitted with bicycle rack. The low floor design in the front of the bus includes a ramp which can be extended for wheelchairs and they have a large vestibule that allows for quick and easy entry. Riders are going to enjoy a more pleasant trip," continued Church.

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