October 4, 2004

BC Transit to be first Canadian system to put hybrid buses into regular service

VICTORIA, BC-BC Transit will be the first transit system in Canada to put GM's advanced hybrid diesel-electric system into regular service. BC Transit, the provincial agency responsible for municipal transit systems across the province, has signed a contract with General Motors of Canada to purchase six 40-foot (12-metre) production hybrid diesel-electric buses, with delivery slated for the spring of 2005. Three of the buses will go to the Victoria Regional Transit System and three to the Kelowna Regional Transit System. The buses, built by Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries and equipped with GM's hybrid system, improve fuel economy by up to 50% and reduce emissions by up to 90% compared to conventional diesel-powered buses. "With this agreement, BC Transit will set the standard for fuel efficient, environmentally-friendly bus fleets in Canada. We are in discussions with other transit agencies in Canada and have received genuine interest from authorities in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton and other jurisdictions," said GM Canada president Michael Grimaldi. New Flyer president and CEO John Marinucci said, "We are extremely pleased to announce our first hybrid electric bus sale in Canada after considerable success in the U.S." The company recently reported that it will have more than 300 hybrid buses operating by the end of this year (ELW September 21). More information is available from Richard James at GM Canada, 905/644-1804; Paul Smith at New Flyer, 204/224-1251; or Bob Irwin at BC Transit, 250/385-2551.
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