Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today the LOOP bus system has fourteen new buses starting passenger service, including LOOP’s first two hybrid buses.
“We are very excited to introduce the County’s first hybrid passenger buses as part of our ongoing “Dutchess Goes Green” initiative,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “These new buses are environmentally friendly, reduce fuel usage and will enhance passengers travel experience with a quieter ride.”
Three types of buses are being added to the LOOP fleet. Two 40’ Orion heavy duty hybrid buses and four Orion heavy duty diesel buses will replace six Gillig coach buses which have been in service since 1998. These heavy duty buses will be used on fixed routes, including Routes A,B,C,D,E & F. The stop and go traffic patterns along these routes are well suited for hybrid usage. Additionally, there are six new Ford diesel medium duty buses which will be utilized for Dial-A-Ride, ADA Complementary Paratransit and Flex curb-to-curb service. These will replace Bluebird buses that originally went into service in 2000 and 2003. The County expects to take delivery of two additional hybrid buses in the coming weeks.
The heavy duty hybrid buses are expected to save an average of 5,500 gallons per year per bus. “A trip to any gas station lately shows gas prices are on the rise yet again, so these new hybrid will help control costs,” said Steinhaus. Additionally, hybrid buses benefit the environment because nitrogen oxide and carbon emissions are significantly reduced, up to nearly 90%. Hybrid buses have the added advantage of being much quieter than diesel buses.
All of the new buses are handicapped accessible and have bike racks.
The LOOP bus system provides more than 500,000 passenger rides annually. There are a total of 49 vehicles in the LOOP fleet. The buses being taken out of service will be auctioned.
The two heavy duty hybrid buses cost $533,900 each and the four heavy duty diesel buses were $375,425 each. These buses were purchased on cooperative bid with Ulster County conducted two years ago. The medium duty diesel hybrid buses were purchased for $167,750 each. The purchase cost was covered 100% by federal ARRA stimulus funding.
The medium duty diesel buses cost $79,000 each. The County’s share of the $474,000 purchase cost was $47,400. The remaining 90% was funded through federal (80%) and state (10%) funding programs.
The Dutchess County Public Transit’s LOOP Bus System provides a safe, efficient, accessible and reliable public transportation system for people to get to work and play destinations. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life and helps to enhance quality of life. Public transportation saves fuels, saves money, reduces gasoline consumption and reduces overall carbon footprint. Public transportation provides an affordable, and for many, necessary, alternative to driving. According to the November 2010 Transit Savings Report from the APTA, riding public transportation on the average saves individuals $9,515 annually, and up to $793 per month based on the November 8, 2010 average national gas price ($2.85 per gallon-reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.
“Right now so many people are looking for ways to save money in their household budget and also want to try to do their part to protect our environment; riding the LOOP achieves both objectives. These new buses make our LOOP bus system an even more attractive transportation solution,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
For information about Dutchess County’s Mass Transit LOOP system including LOOP bus route schedules, visit ww.dutchessny.gov/LOOP.htm.