California city buys 150 gasoline hybrid-electric buses

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The Board of City of Montebello, Calif., has authorized the purchase of 150 gasoline hybrid-electric 40-foot buses, to be supplied by the team of New Flyer and ISE Corp. This is a Federal Transit Administration-pooled procurement program that provides 90 percent federal funding to participating agencies; ISE will provide its ThunderVolt gasoline hybrid drive system, and New Flyer of America will be the vehicle manufacturer.

Montebello Bus Lines is the municipal bus operator serving East Los Angeles, Commerce and the City of Montebello, and is the leading agency in the seven-agency pooled procurement program. The other participating agencies are Norwalk Transit System, El Dorado Transit Authority, Fresno Area Express, Long Beach Transit, Napa Valley Transit and Torrance Transit.

The hybrid buses will feature ISE’s ThunderVolt gasoline hybrid drive system, which was certified as an alternative fuel system by the California Air Resources Board in November 2003. More than 100 of these hybrid buses are already in revenue service in various California cities, including Long Beach, Orange County, Norwalk, Montebello, Gardena, San Bernardino and Fresno. Currently-operating ThunderVolt gasoline hybrid-equipped buses have exceeded four million miles of total revenue service, with availability of 97 percent at the largest fleet in Long Beach.

“This repeat business is an important milestone for ISE, our customers and partners,” says Gary Willms, vice president of business development for San Diego-based ISE. “It attests to the fact that our solid, reliable and high-performance product is helping to provide public transit with clean, safe and environmentally friendly transportation systems.” ISE will be delivering the new hybrid systems to New Flyer over the next five years.