Hybrid transit busses in Lethbridge have comfortable seats and air conditioning to keep passengers happy, but transit maintenance manager Scott Greico says they’re also helping cut down on fuel.
“On average, our busses were doing about 40 litres per 100 km per bus, per year, and now they are doing an average of 27 litres per bus, per year.”
For the last six years, Lethbridge city transit has been applying for grants through GreenTRIP.
It has already replaced 11 of 42 busses with hybrids, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by one third.
“In translation, that’s over 100,000 litres of diesel fuel per year… to date, since the busses been on the road, that is 325,000 litres of fuel savings per year,” Greico explained.
“Translate that into greenhouse gases – that’s a reduction of greenhouse gases of 845 tonnes, so it’s very promising.”
It will take years before every bus in the fleet is hybrid, so transit is working to go green in other ways.
It’s applying for a grant to build a park ‘n’ ride on 5th Avenue south between 7th and 8th Streets.
City transit operations manager Kevin Ponech says these initiatives have resulted in a rise in passengers.
Last year, 1.2 million trips were made by city bus users.
“The community is starting to recognize there are options out there for transit other than their cars, they are very cognitive of the fact that they’re doing something to help the environment by getting single vehicles off the road,” Ponech said.
Transit is also working on a master plan that is expected to be done next year, aiming to help make the city more green, one trip at a time.