LAWRENCE — The T has gone green. The City of Lawrence recently expanded its fleet to include the first hybrid buses to operate in Kansas. Three 40-foot hybrid buses have rolled onto the streets of Lawrence.
“I am very excited to see the delivery of our new hybrid busses,” said Mayor Aron Cromwell. “They are the most recent manifestation of the City of Lawrence’s green initiatives. They are much quieter, produce about 90 percent less emissions and use 50 percent less fuel than the diesel buses they replaced.”
The purchase of these buses was possible in large part to $1.8 million in federal stimulus funds received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). They will replace three of the oldest buses in the Lawrence transit fleet, which have been in operation since 2001 and have exhausted their life expectancy.
“We are pleased to be able to use these funds to both improve transit service in Lawrence and become even greener,” said Robert Nugent, Transit Administrator.
The hybrid buses will be used primarily on Route 11, operated jointly by the city and the university, which serves downtown, campus, and 31st and Iowa.
“Modernizing the fleet is always exciting, especially when we can do it in such an environmentally friendly way,” said Danny Kaiser, Assistant Director of KU Parking & Transit.
The new buses feature “low floors,” which means that passengers only need to take one step up to board the bus. It also means that riders using wheelchairs can board by a ramp at the front door, rather than on a lift at the rear of the bus. The university’s fleet includes low-floor buses, but these will be the first vehicles in the city’s fleet to offer this feature. Bike racks will also be available on the buses.
To get help planning a route or for more information, call (785) 864-4644 or visit www.lawrencetransit.org.