Clarksville Transit Service placed three new hybrid buses into service Feb. 1, which continued a trend of updating the fleet with more modern and fuel-efficient vehicles.

The new buses replaced three others that were more than 13 years old and had more than 2 million miles, collectively, on them.

"These are state-of-the-art buses that offer better fuel technology and operating efficiency, which lowers costs and is more environmentally friendly,” Mayor Joe Pitts said. “More importantly, these vehicles provide additional safety and comfort for our passengers.”

The new buses, manufactured by Gillig Corp., of Hayward, Calif., are 30-foot hybrid electric heavy-duty transit buses. Each cost $670,000 and were bought using congestion mitigation air quality competitive grant funds, with 80% coming from federal sources and 10% coming from both the state and city.

“These three buses allow us to make a major step forward, giving us a 100% low-floor fleet for the first time,” said CTS director Paul Nelson. “Now we can retire all of the remaining old standard-floor buses that have steps. These easy-access ramps make life much easier for all passengers, especially those using wheelchairs.”

The three new buses also elevate CTS's entire fleet into a "state of good repair," which means the active fleet will be within the Federal Transit Administration’s useful life benchmark for heavy-duty transit buses.

The new buses are also equipped with several features to increase their utility and improve the passenger experience. Notably, each new bus is equipped with 18 USB charging ports, which is a new feature for the CTS fleet that will allow passengers to charge phones and other devices while riding.

The new buses also offer:

• improved passenger seats. 

• a rack that can carry two bicycles at a time.

• a fare box that accepts and validates coins, tokens and bills and accepts and processes magnetic fare cards and smart cards.

• a surveillance system with nine cameras that provide enhanced security and safety for passengers and operators.

• a vehicle locator system that can track a specific bus for location, speed, direction of travel and stop time.

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