Fort Worth school district to buy 25 hybrid buses

Some Fort Worth school buses soon will be green machines, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: The school district received $1.6 million in federal grants to buy 25 hybrid buses, making it among the first in the area to use such technology for schools. The buses will be charge-sustaining hybrids that generate their own electricity and use diesel fuel. District officials expect the buses to improve fuel efficiency by 30 to 40 percent. The buses are expected to arrive in six months and will be tested in various parts of the district to compare them with traditional buses. The grant will pay about 40 percent of the cost of the new buses, which are $146,000 each. The district spends about $82,000 on traditional buses. The grant is part of $13.2 million given to the North Central Texas Council of Governments to help buy fuel-efficient vehicles for the area. The hybrid-bus trend is slowly spreading nationwide, said Robin Leeds, an industry specialist with the National School Transportation Association. "School boards are looking at them, but they are still quite a bit more expensive than diesel buses," she said. "School districts can’t do it without state or federal grants." Leeds said more districts are likely to buy such buses soon as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, however, which funded the grant given to the council of governments…

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