Thursday, January 22, 2009

Austin to get 75 new buses

News just in. The Capital Metro Board approved spending to buy 75 new "diesel powered" buses. It's great we're getting new buses but I'm really disappointed that we're getting diesel-powered buses. Arguably they are more fuel efficient than gas and more cost effective than hybrids or alternative fuels such as natural gas. But, If Austin wants to continue on the path of being a progressive city that emphasizes sustainable growth, lifestyle fitness, cycling, alternative means of transporation, green living, etc., then this is a perfect opportunity to do so in a big way. Buy natural gas buses! Please. :-) Oh, and please don't forget the bicyle racks on front as well as setting aside dedicated bus lanes during rush hour for express bus fares on the heaviest traffic thoroughfares.

Posted 1/22/09 at
The Capital Metro board Wednesday approved spending $31.5 million to buy 75 buses as part of a new five-year contract to replace aging buses.

The New Flyer diesel-powered buses would be a combination of 35-foot and 40-foot vehicles and cost, on average, about $385,000. The contract also includes about $2 million for spare parts and other equipment.

Typically, the federal government has paid about 80 percent of the cost for buses for Capital Metro and other transit agencies. But Capital Metro spokesman Adam Shaivitz said that in this case, the agency anticipates getting no more than $8 million from the federal government unless the Obama administration's economic stimulus package brings in additional money. The rest, Shaivitz said, the agency would finance using a lease-purchase arrangement.