STOCKTON, CA – The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) has rolled out six hybrid buses to its mass transit fleet. The buses are powered by General Motors’ diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system, which offers greater fuel economy and significantly reduced emissions compared to conventional diesel buses. Elected officials, representatives from Gillig Corp. and General Motors, and members of the public, joined San Joaquin RTD for a media event at the Stockton Arena to celebrate the addition of the hybrid buses to its fleet. The six buses are the first to be delivered to a hybrid bus-purchasing consortium, announced in January, consisting of numerous transit agencies in California and elsewhere. San Joaquin RTD spearheaded the consortium to boost purchasing power and reduce per-vehicle costs through mass ordering. The consortium plans to purchase up to 157 GM hybrid-powered buses, including 50 to San Joaquin RTD. The hybrid diesel-electric technology in these buses will help San Joaquin RTD meet California’s stringent clean-air requirements for urban buses. The GM hybrid system provides transit agencies the option of a clean-air technology solution that has been reviewed and certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Transit buses powered by GM’s advanced hybrid propulsion technology deliver significantly better fuel economy than traditional buses and produce up to 60 percent fewer oxides of nitrogen emissions and 90 percent fewer particulate, hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide emissions than the buses they replace. Other benefits of the buses include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil, and transmission oil life; providing 50 percent faster acceleration compared with conventional diesel buses; and operational sound levels approaching that of passenger cars. Since 2004, more than 475 GM hybrid-powered buses have been delivered to 38 communities in the U.S. and Canada. The estimated annual combined fuel savings for the 475 GM hybrid-powered buses is 700,000 gallons. The clean hybrid technology is manufactured by GM Allison Transmission, maker of transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems for commercial trucks, buses, off-highway equipment, and military vehicles. The new Hybrid Low Floor buses are manufactured by the Gillig Corporation of Hayward, Calif., the first company to integrate this technology into a transit bus. Gillig has also sold San Joaquin RTD conventionally powered buses and all of these buses use aluminum bodies and stainless steel understructures and incorporate the latest in electronic and other technologies to optimize passenger comfort and product reliability. The two-mode hybrid technology in these buses has served as the starting point for GM’s co-development with DaimlerChrysler and BMW Group of a two-mode hybrid system for light-duty vehicles, which GM will launch next year in the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size SUVs, followed by the Cadillac Escalade in 2008.