ANN ARBOR, MI – The first of 20 new GM-Allison hybrid-powered buses unveiled by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s (AATA) fleet marks next step in AATA’s continuing effort to minimize negative impacts on the environment and cut operating costs. Fifteen new hybrid-powered buses will begin service in the next two weeks with an additional five delivered in March 2008. Seven more buses will join the fleet within 18 months. Long term, AATA plans to replace all 69 buses in their fleet with hybrids making them the first public transit operator in the Midwest to state such an intention.

The AATA fleet joins more than 830 GM-Allison hybrid-equipped buses operating in 74 cities in North America and Europe. Orders for an additional 379 hybrid bus systems in North America will be fulfilled throughout 2007.

AATA anticipates a reduction in carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons of up to 90 percent and up to 50 percent in carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. The 20 new hybrid buses will save approximately $2.5 million in fuel costs and 811,200 gallons of fuel — equivalent to more than 19,000 barrels of oil — over a 12-year period.

“Our new buses will run cleaner and more quietly,” said Terry Black, AATA manager of maintenance. “The new buses will also contribute to reducing our country’s dependence on foreign oil.”

The hybrid buses are powered by an advanced parallel hybrid-electric powertrain using an advanced battery pack, two powerful electric motors and a traditional diesel engine. The electrical and diesel systems work together to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while improving performance.

Other benefits of GM-Allison hybrid-powered buses include reduced maintenance costs resulting from extended brake, engine oil and transmission oil life, superior torque, and better acceleration.

The clean hybrid technology is licensed by General Motors to Allison Transmission, which manufactures and sells the hybrid transmission. Gillig Corp., located in Hayward, Calif., manufactures the buses.