A production crew from Carmel, Ind. is crisscrossing Pinellas County Nov. 29-Dec. 1 while shooting a video featuring Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s diesel electric hybrid buses.
A production crew from Carmel, Ind. will be crisscrossing Pinellas County this week while shooting a video featuring Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s diesel electric hybrid buses. “The fuel economy on our hybrids has been consistently 26 to 40 percent better than the standard diesel buses. When the manufacturer of the bus transmissions found out, they asked if they could feature our buses in a promotional video,” said PSTA CEO Brad Miller. “Of course we’re always eager to be featured as a transit success story.”
The video crew is scheduled to begin taping PSTA buses and staff Tuesday, Nov. 29, and is expected to wrap up the shoot by the end of the week. Once finished, the video will be used worldwide by Allison Transmission to promote the company’s diesel electric transmissions, which are the heart of the hybrid bus technology.
Currently, PSTA has a fleet of 191 buses, 24 of which are hybrids. Another eight are on order with delivery expected late summer or early fall. The fuel efficiency of the hybrids varies with the routes the buses run. Lower speed, frequent stop routes get the highest mileage, because they maximize the use of electric power cells rather than using diesel fuel.
When the PSTA Board of Directors authorized the agency’s first purchase of hybrid buses in 2008, board members were told to expect a fuel efficiency increase of approximately 20 percent over standard diesel buses. Since the agency was using about 2.1 million gallons of fuel a year and prices were going through the roof, it was a logical decision, PSTA officials said. Now, three years and 24 hybrid buses later, the decision has paid off.
“Not only are the diesel electric buses cutting fuel costs, but they reduce emissions by 90 percent or better over standard diesel models, so they benefit our bottom line, the environment and our community,” said Miller.