NYC Decides Diesel Buses Are Cleaner than Hybrids
David Sims posted on July 19, 2013 | 6365 views

Back in 2009, The New York Times proudly reported that New York City was operating “by far, the nation’s biggest fleet of hybrid buses, which run on electricity and diesel fuel, with nearly 1,000 in all five boroughs, most in Manhattan.”

In the mid-1990s, said Joseph J. Smith, senior vice president for the department of buses for the MTA New York Transit Authority to The Times in 2009, the city was looking for ways to clean up its bus fleet. After rejecting buses that ran on compressed natural gas for being way too pricey, in 1998, the transit authority bought 10 hybrid-electric buses at a cool million bucks each.

Mean Distance to Failure.

Things went swimmingly: “By 2001, the city had ordered another 125 and subsequently bought hundreds more,” the Times wrote, adding that “today, New York has the largest fleet of hybrid buses of any city in the country — 850, out of a fleet of 4,500.”

According to the International Business Times, New York’s bus fleet comprises “14 different bus models, including the Orion VII, which is manufactured by Orion International at facilities in Mississauga, Ontario, and Oriskany, N.Y.”

After extolling the benefits in cleaner air and quieter buses in the city, the Times threw in the observation that “the hybrid buses are easier to fix — and most important, don’t break down as often, which the department measures as ‘mean distance to failure,’” or MDF.

That MDF turned out to be approximately four years.

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And Things Went Fine, Until…

According to the New York Post, New York City’s MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) “hasn’t purchased an electric-diesel hybrid bus in three years, and as many as 389 — 23 percent of all its hybrids — could be retrofitted with new diesel engines soon.”

One reason for the switch might be that two hybrids burst into flames in 2009. It could be because pranksters have discovered the switch one can throw on the side of the bus to shut it down in mid-service. But mostly, it’s that they simply haven’t worked as advertised.

Read More at the IMT Green & Clean Journal 

This article was originally published on ThomasNet News Industry Market Trends  and is reprinted in its entirety with permission from Thomas Industrial Network.  For more stories like this please visit Industry Market Trends.

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