SEPTA will spend $171 million on 245 new buses, under a plan sent to the SEPTA board on Thursday.
Most of the buses are to be built with hybrid electric-diesel engines, though 85 are slated to be cheaper diesel-powered buses. Hybrid buses are more fuel-efficient and less polluting but cost about 34 percent more than diesel buses.
If the SEPTA board approves next Thursday, the contract will be awarded to NOVA Bus, a Canadian subsidiary of Swedish manufacturer Volvo Bus Corp. The buses are to be built in NOVA's Plattsburgh, N.Y., plant.
The order includes 155 60-foot articulated buses and 90 40-foot buses. SEPTA officials said the agency received a federal grant to allow it to buy 160 hybrid buses over the first two years of the contract. If additional federal money becomes available, the order for 85 diesel buses in the last two years of the contract would be changed to hybrids.