ECAT looks to a greener year ahead with the arrival of 10 new Gillig buses, all which are designed to promote a cleaner environment. These will replace 1992 and 1996 models in the current ECAT fleet and were purchased with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Stimulus Program. The buses, built at the Gillig facility in Hayward, California, are a needed upgrade to the ECAT fleet and better serve the customers with the latest features and comforts. They will begin service on ECAT bus routes by the end of September.
ECAT General Manager Kenneth Gordon, and Escambia County are working towards reducing its emissions to promote a much cleaner environment in the public transportation arena. The new buses will provide a new look for ECAT, will be a welcome addition to the fleet, and will be better for the environment.
The eye-catching green exterior reflects what public transportation does for the environment. According to the American Public Transportation Association, public transportation in the United States is a crucial part of the solution to the nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges — helping to bring a better quality of life. Americans living in areas served by public transportation save 646 million hours in travel time and 398 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction alone.
All of the new buses are equipped with features such as:
- Low floor, one step entry for all passengers
- Automated wheelchair ramp with manual overrides will replace the failure prone lifts (This should eliminate all lift related road calls).
- Environmentally-friendly LED interior lighting will come with a lifetime guarantee. This replaces standard fluorescent interior bulbs that have to be treated as hazardous waste when they are disposed of.
- Engine compartment fire detection and suppression system
- Engines will meet the EPA 2010 emissions standards for diesel buses (a level that at one time could only be met with natural gas-powered buses)
With this purchase ECAT has taken the next step to a cleaner Escambia County. In 1998 federal EPA laws were implemented, which required the NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen) that were released into the air to be reduced to 4.0 g/HP-hr (grams per horsepower per hour of operation). In 2007 the requirements were 1.2 g/HP-hr.
In moving forward with the 2010 EPA requirements, the new Gillig buses have a Cummins ISL engine that reduces the NOx to 0.2 g/HP-hr. By using the current Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel and the new DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) technology, ECAT is going green, which means 99.5% cleaner than the buses that are being replaced.
For more information, contact Nancy Lohr with ECAT at 595-3228, ext. 218.