SEPTA plannning to buy 245 new buses

SEPTA will be buying 245 new buses - 160 of them hybrids, 85 diesel-powered.
SEPTA will be buying 245 new buses - 160 of them hybrids, 85 diesel-powered.
Posted: March 15, 2012

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.

The new buses, which are to start arriving in December, will replace worn-out vehicles in the SEPTA fleet, which has 1,409 buses and trackless trolleys.

A SEPTA board committee also sent to the full board a plan to spend $41 million for Regional Rail ticket agents and ticket processing for four years.

The proposal calls for SEPTA to renew its contract with Edens Corp., of Philadelphia, which handles railroad ticket sales and processing of credit-card and cash payments.


Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or pnussbaum@phillynews.com

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