San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) has added two hybrid buses to its mass transit fleet. GM says its hybrid technology transit buses offer up to 60 percent greater fuel economy and up to 90-percent-cleaner emissions.

Sen. Michael Machado, Calif. State Senate, 5th District, said: “The addition of hybrid buses to the San Joaquin RTD fleet is a significant step towards improving the quality of life for not only bus riders, but also for residents of those neighbourhoods that include bus routes. Hybrid buses will help the local environment by reducing emissions and reducing noise pollution as well.”

The buses will display the slogan, “A Breath of Fresh Air.”

“San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) has long been recognized in the community for its corporate responsibility to the environment,” said Donna Kelsay, General Manager/CEO of San Joaquin RTD. “As the first transit agency in the nation to introduce the Gillig production hybrid vehicle with a clean-air NOx (nitrous oxide) reduction particulate trap, we are especially proud of these buses because we view the hybrid bus technology as a further opportunity to reduce emissions and improve air quality for the residents of San Joaquin County.”

There are currently 335 GM-hybrid-equipped buses operating in North America.

“GM’s hybrid technology offers significantly improved fuel economy, along with reduced noise and emissions – qualities that are particularly important and beneficial in cities like Stockton,” said Beth Lowery, GM vice president of Environment and Energy.

In addition to improved fuel economy and dramatically lower emissions, GM says its hybrid system delivers superior torque, derived from the dual electric motors used to launch from a stop, and 50-percent-better acceleration than conventional diesel buses. Gillig Corp., of Hayward, Calif., manufactures the buses.

“This bus uses the most efficient hybrid architecture available in the world today, and is an important initiative in our three-prong hybrid technology approach that is designed to provide our customers fuel economy gains and reduced emissions in a wide variety of products,” said Tom Stephens, group vice president of GM Powertrain. “We have developed a second generation advanced hybrid system, based on this hybrid bus technology that will be applied to GM full-size sport utility vehicles and pickups during the next few years.”