Going Green

As our riders can attest, many of our buses are overdue for replacement. In fact, some in our fleet are more than 13 years old. We’ve delayed buying new buses over the last few years due to the economy, but we simply can’t afford to wait any longer. Not only are these aging buses uncomfortable for our riders and operators, they have also become too unreliable and expensive for us to maintain…

Therefore, on Monday, May 13, 2013, NCATA has taken a giant stride forward by hitting the road with 5 brand new Gillig Hybrid Low Floor Buses.

Compared to the 13 year old diesel buses they’ll replace, hybrid buses offer:

  • 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • 40 percent greater fuel economy
  • 30 percent reduction in maintenance costs
  • Significantly reduced emissions of soot and oxides of nitrogen
  • A smoother, quieter ride for our passengers

How do they work?

Like a hybrid car, our hybrid buses use both electricity and diesel.

The batteries store energy, recharging every time the bus decelerates. When demand for power exceeds battery capacity, the diesel engine provides extra energy.

The stored electricity is used for cleaner, smoother propulsion.

A computer controls the output of the two power sources, diesel and electricity, so buses always use the most efficient source.

In addition to the hybrid drive, buses are equipped with enhanced electrification measures, including an electronic (beltless) alternator and electric-powered cooling fans.

NASCAR-inspired electronic cooling system boosts MPG. It won’t make the bus go faster, but the innovative cooling system improves fuel economy by 5-10 percent. It uses an electrified subsystem instead of a hydraulic or mechanical fan, so it draws less power off the engine.

Our new Hybrid buses have a Cummins Diesel Engine package that’s designed to reduce tailpipe emissions dramatically. It includes Selective Catalytic Reduction technology, which scrubs nitrogen oxides and particulates (pollutants that cause smog and health problems) from the buses exhaust.