EVERETT — Something’s missing when these buses pull away from bus stops and red lights.
No dark, smelly diesel smoke is emitted from their tailpipes.
They’re also quieter, smoother and more fuel efficient.
On Wednesday, the Everett City Council is scheduled to vote on paying $1.7 million for three of the 40-foot, diesel- electric hybrid buses.
If the council approves the purchase, hybrid buses could be shuttling passengers on downtown routes by this time next year.
City spokeswoman Kate Reardon said fuel savings over the life of the buses should pay off.
With with prospect of $4 a gallon fuel, that’s easy to imagine.
Like the popular hybrid Toyota Prius, hybrid buses use both electric motors and internal combustion engines for more efficient propulsion.
The Puget Sound area is on the nation’s cutting edge of hybrid technology use for mass transit.
King County Metro and Sound Transit in 2004 became early adopters when they ordered 235 buses. King County plans to invest $400 million buying hundreds of hybrid buses in the coming years.
Everett plans to buy the buses from Gillig Corp. of Hayward, Calif., through a competitive bid with the city of Charlotte, N.C.
Everett plans to use more than $1 million in federal transit grants to pay for the new buses.
@4. OT ByNumbers hedder:By the numbers
3number of hybrid buses Everett plans to buy
7miles per gallon for a hybrid bus*
4.5mpg for a diesel bus
$1 millionEverett Transit’s fuel costs in 2006
$550,000cost for a hybrid bus
$350,000cost for a diesel bus
40length of new buses in feet
1year before they hit the streets
* Actual fuel economy depends on use. Hybrids typically get 20 percent to 40 percent better fuel economy, according to Gillig Corp. officials.