Local News

Durham tests hybrid buses

Posted June 16, 2008

— The Durham Area Transit Authority plans to buy 20 hybrid buses over the next year. Some of them are being tested on city routes this week.

They expect the investment of $10.8 million with help save up to 40 percent in fuel costs for the city.

Most of the money for the buses -- 80 percent -- comes from federal grants.


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  • Vincenzo R. Abacus Jun 17, 2008


    You say "My guess is the city will possibly break even" -- how did you arrive at this guess? Or do deskchair internet mayors on GOLO just automatically know these things?

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jun 17, 2008

    Does anyone know where grants come from?? Seems we live on these today ... Any strings attached? Remember the good old days when a city could use its taxes for its on use, now we send more to Washington to have it come back as a grant...But the over head it terrible.

  • NCSUPackfan Jun 17, 2008

    joefly1964... just FYI... Almost $8 million of the cost of these buses are being paid for by Federal Grants. Durham's paying just over $2 mil.

  • issymayake Jun 17, 2008

    kudos. . .Durham has pretty high ridership on DATA,and this is definitely beneficial.

  • Travised Jun 17, 2008

    less fuel, depending on the bus emissions are WAY WAY down. They even have an electrical version they are testing in some markets with zero emissions.

  • SaveEnergyMan Jun 17, 2008

    It should also be pointed out that the maintenance costs on these buses can be less too. One of the big problems with buses are brakes. With a regenerative braking system (braking with the motor and charging the battery), the mechanical brakes don't get much use (except for hard emergency braking). This has saved one city in the Northeast (NY or Boston, not sure which) as much as in fuel. I have ridden in one of these buses (one came to NCSU about 5 years ago) and it was much smoother (no gears) and much quieter. It was marginal economically at $2/gallon but seems a slam dunk at $4/gallon.

  • unc83 Jun 17, 2008


    Not to be funny, but it seems that you are great at pointing out the obvious, give us your solution to this energy problem or the assault and murder problem.

  • Smokin Jun 16, 2008

    Chapel Hill has been running some hybrids for almost a year. Couldn't they just ask?

  • nclatinboi Jun 16, 2008

    I applaud the city of Durham for doing this, even if at the end it costs more money than regular buses. We need to start thinking long term in Raleigh also and make investments that will benefit us all. Too bad that negative people will always find something to complain about.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jun 16, 2008

    I'm sure their study looked into when the City would "break even" on their expenditures. Ha-ha! If Mayor Bell had anything to do with it, then they are simply doing this to "look Politically Correct".

    These buses cost significantly more than their non-Hybrid counterpart. So how many years of fuel savings does it take to make up the difference in purchase cost? What is the cost of repairs to a Hybrid versus a non-hybrid? And what is the life-span of a city bus? My guess is the city will possibly break even. But since they will use a little less fuel, they can say they are saving the earth. Congrats Durham! You helped to save the earth, but your assault and murder rate is slowly wiping out your paying population.