New buses? How about five more DART hybrids …

Readers:

Good news. We learned this week that DART will be able to purchase five new hybrid buses, thanks to a $1.125 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. DART was poised to replace five aging buses in its fleet with newer, more efficient diesel buses. With the additional funding, however, DART can replace them with hybrids instead.

Sharing rides on any bus is better than everyone driving themselves individually, and that’s doubly true when the buses are hybrids.

Here’s the full press release:

$1.125 Million Grant Helps Buy Five New Hybrid Buses

 Five aging buses serving the public in Greater Des Moines will be replaced with hybrids – not diesels – thanks to a $1.125 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Clean Fuels Grant Program that was announced this week.

 The new hybrid buses will replace five 1998-model diesel buses that were due to be replaced with newer diesel buses. The additional funding allows the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority to replace the buses with hybrid buses instead. The upgrade to hybrid buses is estimated to cut carbon emissions by 75 percent and save approximately $2,800 annually in fuel costs for each bus. DART currently has one hybrid bus in its fleet.

 “Greater Des Moines has experienced tremendous growth in the last 10 years – and public transportation will play an increasingly important role in that growth in the future,” Senator Tom Harkin said. “These five new hybrid buses will make DART service even more successful by reducing noise pollution and improving air quality all the while, serving as traveling billboards for the promotion of green initiatives in our state.”

 “The new hybrid buses are a testament to the forward-thinking vision of DART and Greater Des Moines,” said Congressman Tom Latham, chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee.  “I’m proud to support this effort to replace aging buses with hybrids that run cleaner and smarter.  I stand ready to work with DART in any way I can as it continues to update its bus fleet.”

 “I applaud DART’s efforts for securing this award which will put more efficient buses in operation throughout Des Moines,” said Congressman Leonard Boswell, senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “This is both great for the service options of our residents and for our environment.”

 “This grant provides a great opportunity to choose a hybrid bus as your preferred transportation,” said Angela Connolly, Polk County Supervisor and Chair of the DART Commission.  “Sharing rides through the DART transit system further benefits the ongoing sustainability of our community.”