November 23, 2004

York Regional Council approves participation of York Region Transit in Hybrid Bus demonstration project

NEWMARKET - York Regional Council recently approved the addition of four hybrid buses to the York Region Transit (YRT) fleet, to participate in a one-year hybrid bus demonstration project.   The project will evaluate the operating performance, costs and viability of the buses as part of YRT's conventional service. 
"York Region is committed to improving transportation as well as environmental protection," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  "These hybrid buses will be an asset to our existing transit fleet, and their low emission rates will make them much more environmentally friendly than traditional vehicles."
York Region will pay $100,000 for each bus from its conventional bus replacement budget towards the project.  The $7.4 million overall cost will be borne by York Region, the Centre for Sustainable Community Development, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Ministry of Transportation Ontario, Overland Custom Coach (OCC) and BET Services. 
"I'm hopeful that this demonstration project will prove the viability of using these hybrid buses for regular service," said Markham Regional Councillor Jim Jones, Chair of the Region's Transit Committee.  "The low emissions of these nearly noiseless buses would certainly be an asset if their performance proves comparable to traditional diesel buses."
The buses are battery powered, with a small diesel engine to slow battery discharge. While the bus is operating in battery mode, there are no vehicle emissions.  OCC currently manufactures a low-floor bus that is used by YRT's Mobility Plus Transit service for customers with special needs.
For more information about York Region Transit, including fares, schedules and service, please call toll-free 1-866-MOVE YRT (668-3978), locally at (905) 881-5167 or TTY line at 1-866-276-7478 or visit
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at:
Contact:   Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1232
- Email:

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