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Maryland Transit Administration spending $81.3 million to buy 140 new buses.

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The Baltimore Sun is reporting that $81.3 million is being spent to order new buses for the Baltimore region, scheduled to enter revenue service sometime in 2018: http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-md-mta-new-buses-20171002-story.html

The Maryland Transit Administration will spend $81.3 million on a fleet of new 40-foot “clean-diesel” buses that will hit the street next year, the agency said.

New Flyer of America, Inc., of St. Cloud, Minn., was awarded the contract and will supply the 140 new buses, the MTA said in its announcement. New Flyer, the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, has built 800 buses for the MTA since 2004.

The new buses come three-and-a-half months after the introduction of BaltimoreLink, Gov. Larry Hogan’s $135 million re-routing of the Baltimore region’s bus system to remove underused bus stops, shorten routes to make them quicker and make the system overall more reliable.

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"clean diesel".  LOL.  That means they are just regular diesel.  All that means is that the comply with Federal emissions standards.  Which all diesel buses have to meet. 

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https://mta.maryland.gov/hybrid-diesel-electric-transit-buses

BALTIMORE, MD (JUNE 20, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the Board of Public Works approval of $35,314,862 for the purchase of 53 hybrid diesel electric buses for the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). Today’s announcement meets the Administration’s goal, first outlined in 2008, that the MTA purchase only hybrid diesel electric powered buses as older models are retired from service with a stated goal of up to 500 hybrid diesel electric powered buses in daily operation by 2014. 

As a result of the Governor’s directive, the MTA currently operates 215 hybrid diesel electric buses, or 30 percent of the bus fleet. When these 53 buses come online, that figure rises to 40 percent of the bus fleet. The aggressive move toward hybrid buses is consistent with the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s Smart, Green and Growing initiative designed to achieve a more sustainable future. 

................,,,        

The new buses are manufactured by New Flyer of America, Inc. In tests comparing hybrid buses to diesel buses, hybrids use 20 percent less fuel and are up to 50 percent quieter. Hybrids have proven to be twice as reliable as diesels, logging 6,200 miles between service calls, compared to every 3,300 miles for diesel models. The new buses feature ergonomic passenger seating, an advanced video surveillance system, wider exit doors, LED lighting, and tip-in windows for improved air circulation and passenger safety. The first of this latest round of hybrid buses will be on the street in September 2012, with the final bus scheduled for delivery February 2013.

Back in 2012 they paid $666k each for 53 hybrid buses.  Based on a simple 3% annual price increase that would put the hybrids at $772k each this year.

These were $198K each.  

I seriously doubt the hubrid delivered on the promised 20% fuel economy savings now halving the service calls.  Good call Hogan.

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I can't understand why they are not looking at electric or natural gas or something a little more environmentally friendly and forward looking than diesel. It is like 1952 in Hogan's Department of Transportation. More roads, more diesel, less rail, more tolls, more sprawl. 

 

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17 minutes ago, sparky1 said:

I can't understand why they are not looking at electric or natural gas or something a little more environmentally friendly and forward looking than diesel. It is like 1952 in Hogan's Department of Transportation. More roads, more diesel, less rail, more tolls, more sprawl. 

 

 An electric system would be cost prohibitive   I am not aware of any large transit buses like these on a pure electric system. 

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Posted (edited)

it is more cutting edge, but think it is the way to go looking forward. Short run it would be more expensive, long run maybe not so much. Same thing with expanding highways, short run probably cheaper, but will do nothing to solve longer term problems of transit in the area. 

These look to be the wave of the future, if not this particular manufacturer. https://www.wired.com/2016/09/new-electric-bus-can-drive-350-miles-one-charge/

 

Edited by sparky1

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1 hour ago, sparky1 said:

I can't understand why they are not looking at electric or natural gas or something a little more environmentally friendly and forward looking than diesel. It is like 1952 in Hogan's Department of Transportation. More roads, more diesel, less rail, more tolls, more sprawl. 

 

I don't think everyone wants to live in a high rise, therefore, "more sprawl".  So you need more roads.  At the very least keep up the existing roads.

As for electric, it seems the omalley hybrids didn't deliver and were very costly.

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Howard County somehow got all-electric buses but the Baltimore region hasn't gotten electric buses yet: 

 

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Are you willing to pay way way way more for bus rides?

Quote

 

Residents will now have the chance to ride one of the county's three electric buses, which were unveiled on Monday.

The buses, run by the Regional Transportation Agency, are funded through a grant from the federal Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction, or TIGGER, program in the Federal Transit Administration, as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transit systems. The grant, worth approximately $3.7 million, means that the only cost to the county is for the electricity needed to power the buses, said David Cookson, a comprehensive and regional planner in the Office of Transportation

 

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/ellicott-city/ph-ho-cf-electric-buses-0727-20170725-story.html

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, sparky1 said:

I can't understand why they are not looking at electric or natural gas or something a little more environmentally friendly and forward looking than diesel. It is like 1952 in Hogan's Department of Transportation. More roads, more diesel, less rail, more tolls, more sprawl. 

 

Purchasing the bus is one thing. Having the infrastructure (natural gas pumps, electric charging stations) is another. Hybrid diesel electrics charge the batteries while running diesel...then cut over when a charge to the battery is attained..then back again when drained. A pure natural gas or electric would have to dock and be off the road for that period.

Why do you think pure electric cars haven't taken off as some predicted and hybrids are starting to?

Nothing worse then doing the 'over the river and through the woods' thing for Thanksgiving and your pure electric can't recharge.

Howard county is a much smaller bus grid. Now I note in the pic that it says wireless charge. Which I assume to mean .... like your Iphone you don't have to attach a cable...but the bus must be in the proximity of a 'charge pad'.

AHHHHHH HAAAAAHHHHH.....here is the flaw..........................

Columbia mall will house a charging station for the buses, which the buses will use for five to 10 minutes every time they stop at the mall. A full battery lasts approximately 12 to 15 hours, and takes roughly four to five hours to fully charge. The buses will also charge each night at the bus garage, Cookson said.

It takes maybe 15 minutes to fill a buses tanks. I know my family was involved with the bus business when I was growing up.

 

Edited by Guido2

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I think electrics are expanding and being adopted more and more. An issue is the infrastructure to support the switch. In this the state must take some kind of leadership role. Electric charging stations must be installed more widely and become more familiar to the general public. They may not need to be as ubiquitous as gas stations but they have be more available than they are now. 

Buses and trucks are the perfect place to start. They run usually predictable routes, have a dedicated maintenance staff that can be trained up on the new technology, and lay over in yards that recharge them. 

It is hard to see how much the world and technology has changed in most ways except our transportation grid. Imagine that your phone was still essentially the same as it was in the 1920's, or your home heating system, or your kitchen. If you believe that we will still be driving gas driven cars in 30 more years you would make no changes to the current status quo.

I think sprawl is responsible for the increased traffic we see in the area, and I am already paying for it. I have no problem paying for someone's bus, rail, drone, or subway ride. I am already subsidizing their car ride. 

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 As soon as the electric and alternative fuels are less expensive you'll see industry using them. Otherwise it's just green gimmicks for pr. I guess it helps the industry work out the kinks.  

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19 hours ago, sparky1 said:

 

I think electrics are expanding and being adopted more and more. An issue is the infrastructure to support the switch. In this the state must take some kind of leadership role. Electric charging stations must be installed more widely and become more familiar to the general public. They may not need to be as ubiquitous as gas stations but they have be more available than they are now. 

Buses and trucks are the perfect place to start. They run usually predictable routes, have a dedicated maintenance staff that can be trained up on the new technology, and lay over in yards that recharge them. 

 

Sounds like you have it figured out.  Start an all electric trucking or bus company and I am sure you will dominate the industry in no time.

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2017/08/29/take-that-tesla-diesel-engine-giant-cummins-unveils-heavy-duty-truck-powered-by-electricity/#2635482e78f1

 

The 18,000-pound tractor cab, dubbed AEOS after one of the four-winged horses driving the chariot of the Sun God, Helios, across the sky in Greek mythology, is just a demonstration model. But the Class 7 urban hauler tractor is fully operational and capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer.

With a 100-mile range, the Cummins electric power train is being targeted at urban delivery vehicles (like a beer truck or food delivery truck) as well as for short haul trips in and around ports and other terminals. It can be recharged in about an hour at a 140 kWh charging station, and Cummins' goal is to get that down to 20 minutes by 2020, reducing down time for its business customers. Production begins in 2019.

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I don't doubt that electric or some variation there of.....like fuel cells....will be in our future in a big way.

But like anything new....first issue is always cost and return on investment. Like electricity and indoor plumbing and replacing gas lights on the street with electric ones. Look at the $$$$$s.

When companies are able to produce a purely electric car with cost point for purchase and maintenace (charging) are equal to gas/diesel vehicles....it will take off.

I have looked at 'decent' electric/hybrid cars over the years. And the cost ratio of an electric to gas is about 2.8 to one over the long haul by my rough estimation. To put it another way.....at this point in time....it cost nearly 3 times as much to own an eco car than it does to own an efficient gas car.

When they are 1 to 1.....goodbye gas.

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