MTA seeks OK to order 57 new hybrid buses
The Maryland Transit Administration plans to buy 57 new hybrid diesel-electric buses by piggybacking on a purchase by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.
The department is scheduled to bring that $38.5 million contract with New Flyer of America to the Board of Public Works for approval at its June 1 meeting. If it is approved, as is routine for this type of contract, the MTA will increase the number of hybrid buses in its 706-vehicle fleet to about 250. The MTA is in the process of converting from an all-diesel fleet to an all-hybrid fleet.
According to the MTA, piggybacking on an existing order by another transit agency will save the agency both on the purchase price and the delivery time. It said the new buses will replace aging vehicles that require extra maintenance.
The agency said its piggyback contract will save it almost $31,000 on the price of each bus, lowering the cost to $647.108 per vehicle. The MTA contends that while the hybrid vehicles cost more up front, the state saves money in the long term because of their superior fuel economy and lower maintenance costs. MTA spokesman John Wesley said the 57 new buses would likely go into service in early 2012.