Hybrid buses hit the streets


Champaign - Passengers in Champaign-Urbana are riding in new hybrid buses, and the last two eco-friendly buses rolled in today.

Many people are familiar with the traditional buses making a lot of noise, but not these. Out of the 102-bus fleet, about half of them will travel practically silent. These buses are hundreds of pounds lighter, saving the city's mass transit district money.

Karl Gnadt, Director of Market Development told WAND "we're using about 100,000 gallons less of diesel fuel now that we have the hybrids in the fleet then we were previous to the hybrids being in the fleet. So that's a significant cost savings."

The diesel-electric buses have been riding down Champaign and Urbana's streets since 2009. Six of the newest ones are currently in service. The last of the fleet are sitting in the lot, waiting to be inspected, before a driver can get behind the wheel.

When the hybrid buses hit the streets, the old ones the district received around 1996, some of those are sent to Danville's mass transit and other organizations, the rest will be scrapped.

One bus costs a little more than half a million dollars. However, with better fuel consumption, and record ridership of more than 10 million riders last year. Gandt is sure MTD will make all the money spent back


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