New York University unveiled the first low-floor, hybrid electric bus to enter the University’s transportation fleet February 4, 2011, nineteen months ahead of schedule.

NYU Adds the First Diesel-Electric Hybrid Bus to the Fleet
Orion VII hybrid electric low floor transit bus was manufactured by the Orion Corporation Oriskany, NY

New York University unveiled the first low-floor, hybrid electric bus to enter the University’s transportation fleet February 4, 2011, nineteen months ahead of schedule.  The bus uses a smaller diesel engine assisted by an electric motor to power the vehicle.  The hybrid bus is equipped with a particulate filter which reduces exhaust emissions.   This diesel-electric hybrid technology ensures lower fuel consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, all while ensuring a quieter and smoother ride.

“The new bus is part of the University’s transportation agreement with Academy Bus that became effective in May 2010,” said Jules A. Martin, vice president for NYU Global Security and Crisis Management.  “Transitioning the University Transportation transit bus fleet to hybrids is just the latest step that NYU is taking to do its part in reducing emissions and improving our environment.”

The new hybrid bus, coupled with two new trolleys with state-of-the-art emissions packages entering service during the spring 2011 semester and the University’s use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel, are fully compliant with all EPA-10 (United States Environmental Protection Agency 2010) regulations.

"Since NYU has reduced its carbon emissions from energy consumption (down over 40% in just four years), emissions from other sources are now a bigger piece of the pie,” commented Cecil Scheib, director of NYU Sustainability and Energy. Hybrid buses will help NYU achieve emissions reductions from all areas, not just from our buildings."

Academy Bus, which owns and operates all University Transportation transit buses, trolleys and Safe Ride vans, will acquire one additional diesel-electric hybrid transit bus each year beginning in 2014 until the current fleet of diesel transit buses is entirely updated.  Academy purchased this new transit bus to enhance the University’s transportation fleet nineteen months earlier than it was required to do so under the transportation agreement.

The Orion VII hybrid electric low floor transit bus was manufactured by the Orion Corporation Oriskany, N.Y.  Similar hybrid electric buses have been in daily New York City Transit service since 2006.  The hybrid electric technology also uses a smaller 6.7 liter Cummins engine, compared to the 8.4 liter engine on the bus that is being retired from the NYU fleet.

“In addition to the environmental benefits, transitioning the NYU fleet to hybrids also offers operational advantages,” said Fred Barlow, assistant director of NYU Public Safety for University Transportation. “The hybrid electric technology actually works at its best in the stop-and-go type of operation that is inherent in the various bus systems that operate in Manhattan. As a result, this new bus is a perfect match for New York University.”

About the hybrid diesel-electric bus

The electric motor develops maximum torque at slow speeds and is ideally suited for frequent quick starts. The drive system recaptures normally lost braking energy by converting it into electricity and storing it in the batteries. This "regenerative" braking system ensures the lithium-ion cell battery packs stored on the bus roof remain charged. The regenerative braking system also provides longer brake lining life, thereby significantly reducing maintenance costs and reducing the volume of parts required to operate the bus.

The bus is outfitted with a Lift-U ramp instead of a rear lift, which can be deployed to assist boarding and exiting – it mechanically opens in under 30 seconds and can be manually opened with just one hand. The “Low Floor” feature means no steps at the entrance or exit doors. The bus also features a special styling package that offers more visibility and greater safety thanks to windows that allow improved visibility for the driver.

Other features of the new hybrid buses are:

·         LED interior lights including LED lighting at the rear steps to the upper platform for additional safety. Contemporary, ergonomically designed passenger seats;

·         Quick-change body skirts allowing for easy change if there is an accident. This reduces down time and results in less repair materials being used – both of which help the environment;

·         The latest in multiplexing technology allowing for much easier and reliable troubleshooting of the bus electrical system;

·         Standard size tires versus the low-profile tires used on most low-floor buses. Standard size tires reduce curbing and tire damage, and because standard size tires last longer, fewer tires are going to landfills and;

·         Stainless steel chassis for long life and resistance to winter weather conditions. The stainless steel understructure of the bus helps combat corrosion so at the end of its service life, there is more left to recycle.

About NYU Transportation:  University transportation operates three scheduled routes during the fall and spring semesters, which connect the Washington Square campus with locations that are beyond a reasonable walking distance from the center of campus. Safe Ride is a shared ride/on demand van service, intended to provide safe overnight transportation to and from NYU facilities at times when buses do not operate. Campus transportation is free to any NYU student, faculty, staff, or alumnus who presents a valid NYU ID card.

Route information and schedules for all current services may be accessed on line at  and real time bus locations may be viewed at

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