New Metro "Mini-Hybrid" Buses Make Cincinnati Debut

Metro’s first five new “mini-hybrid” buses will go into service this week.

CINCINNATI – Metro’s first five new “mini-hybrid” buses will go into service this week.

Despite its name, the new mini-hybrids are not small buses nor are they traditional hybrid buses. The new 40-foot buses have an advanced thermal cooling system technology which provides benefits, including:

•           Fuel economy improvement up to 10%
•           Up to 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
•           Reduction in maintenance costs
•           Increased safety through the elimination of hydraulic fluid leaks

The term “mini-hybrid” is used by the manufacturer, Engineered Machined Products (EMP), to refer to the advanced “electric” fan cooling system that replaces the hydraulically driven fan. EMP’s innovative technology provides benefits similar to that of a traditional hybrid, but with additional advantages, including:

  • A cost savings of about $240,000 per bus compared to a traditional hybrid
  • Efficiencies, which save Metro about $2,000 a year per bus in fuel savings and improved operational performance

Thanks to federal Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) funds received last year, the new mini-hybrids will help Metro replace older buses that are past their 12-year useful life. Metro is one of the first few transit agencies to have this technology approved by Clean Fuels Grants, which traditionally has only approved hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles. Metro has ordered 40 more mini-hybrid buses, which will go into service in the in the next several months.

"These new buses are an exciting addition for our fleet," said Daron Brown, Metro Quality Assurance Manager. "The benefits from this new technology can save money and provide environmentally friendly transportation alternatives for our riders."

Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 17 million rides per year in Greater Cincinnati.

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