DETROIT — SMART unveiled three new hybrid electric buses to its fleet, helping to serve the region responsibly and eco-consciously.
As southeast Michigan’s only regional transit provider, SMART is dedicated to keeping the service as green as technology gets. SMART first released two hybrid articulated buses in 2009, and using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding allowed SMART to purchase three more hybrids to its fleet. Hybrid electric buses reduce harmful greenhouse gases by 30 percent, helping to keep diesel exhaust down, which in turn protects the ozone. Every SMART bus has to the potential to eliminate up to 60 cars of the road, further reducing carbon emissions and harmful air pollutants.
In addition to being eco-friendly, hybrid buses are 40 percent more fuel efficient, which is crucial given today’s rising fuel costs. More money will be saved by the lower maintenance costs of hybrid buses, because they have fewer parts. The ride on SMART’s new hybrid buses will be smoother, giving passengers more comfort as they traverse along with a quieter ride than traditional diesel buses.
“SMART is proud to do our part in sustaining our environment,” said John Hertel, SMART general manager. “Our new hybrid electric buses advance our goal toward reducing not just SMART’s carbon footprint, but those of every individual who rides a SMART bus.”
SMART continues its greening efforts by recycling 600 tires, 600 gallons of anti-freeze and 28,890 gallons of oil. Emission systems at each of our garages have been updated to capture fumes from buses being served. SMART facilities have also been updated, including new high-efficiency replacement lighting at all the terminals.
The buses were released into service on Nov. 2. Keep an eye out for the new hybrid buses — they’re painted in three local universities’ colors! To kickoff the release of these hybrid buses, SMART hosted an event, Busloads of Warmth, on Nov. 1 at Oakland Mall. With a friendly competition between the universities, citizens were invited to donate new or gently used cold weather gear. Donators were able to pick the school of their choice and place the items on that bus. The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit will take the donations and pass them out to the less fortunate.
To find out more details about the launch visit www.smartbus.org.
SMART is southeast Michigan’s only regional transit system, serving Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Recognized nationally as an innovator in community-based service for its unique partnerships with 75 communities, SMART provides 44,000 rides daily and serves one million seniors and people with disabilities annually. For more information, go to www.smartbus.org or call Customer Information at 866-962-5515.