The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) added two hybrid/diesel buses to its fleet to transport visitors at Prospect Mountain in Lake George and other DEC-operated recreational facilities in the Adirondacks and Catskills DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The buses are replacing less fuel-efficient vehicles recently taken out of service due to deterioration from corrosion.
“Our new, hybrid/diesel buses will reduce emissions and improve air quality, making them a better option for the environment,” Commissioner Martens said. “This is yet another green initiative that facilitates DEC’s mission to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and public health by improving the sustainability of our own operations.”
The buses use the latest hybrid technology to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize harmful emissions to the atmosphere. The system combines an electric motor and transmission with a diesel engine. This significantly reduces vehicle fuel consumption and emissions output and is designed to recharge its on-board battery pack when the vehicle is decelerating through a process called regeneration. The regeneration process also provides other benefits such as reduced maintenance and brake repair costs. Also, the vehicles operate on bio-diesel, helping to increase sustainability.
The hybrid/diesel buses were built in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each bus is capable of handling two wheelchairs and is equipped with a wheel chair lift. Also, to accommodate passengers and their accessories, the buses have extra wide 42” entrance doors for easier boarding and large viewing windows.
Cooperation among DEC, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy aided in the purchase of the buses. DEC received funding assistance from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 through a grant managed by NYSERDA. The grant covered more than $53,000, while DEC paid the remainder of the $185,000 cost. The buses were purchased from Leonard Bus Sales Inc. in Mechanicville, New York.
“The use of public transportation over private vehicles helps to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases. When coupled with hybrid technology, the air quality in New York’s wilderness areas will greatly improve,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “NYSERDA is proud to partner with the state DEC to help visitors enjoy the mountains – and reduce their impact on the environment.”