The City of Alexandria debuted two of its new hybrid buses and trolleys Thursday afternoon on King Street in front of .
The city purchased a total of seven 35-foot hybrid buses, three 40-foot hybrid buses and five 30-foot hybrid trolleys.
The three larger DASH buses will operate on the AT8 route, which is one of the busiest routes in Alexandria.
The bus and trolley displayed Thursday were both adorned with Eco-City Alexandria stickers, a reference to the city’s sustainability program. The new vehicles will consume about 2,000 fewer gallons of fuel per year than the city’s older buses and trolleys. It is also expected that they will require less maintenance than the older vehicles.
The buses feature wider bodies, lower entryways, bike racks, improved mirrors and wheelchair ramps. The trolleys also have wheelchair ramps (as opposed to lifts) and bike racks. They both run quieter than their older counterparts.
The new trolleys will go into service in April 2012 when the Alexandria Transit Company takes over operations from Martz, the current contractor.
The buses and trolleys cost $600,000 and $655,000 apiece, respectively. The buses were purchased primarily with Virginia State Urban Funds. The Alexandria Transit Company, in cooperation with other city offices, secured a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency that funded the difference in cost between hybrid technology and a regular diesel engine—approximately $200,000 per bus.
The trolleys were purchased with American Reinvestment and Recovery Act stimulus funds.