Hybrid Diesel-Electric Buses Coming To Chicago

New Flyer Industries Inc. announced yesterday an order for one hundred 60-foot articulated buses for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in support of its fleet renewal and customer enhancement strategies.

Of the new buses, 33 are hybrid diesel-electric buses (model DE60LFR) and the other 67 are clean-diesel buses (model D60LFR).

The order is worth $80.1 million. The D60LFR and DE60LFR can accommodate up to 115 passengers and are ideal for high-capacity, high-frequency routes.

New Flyer will commence building the buses in 2012, with all deliveries completed by mid-year 2013. The last purchase of heavy-duty transit buses by the Chicago Transit Authority was in 2009 – and was also with New Flyer. The CTA currently operates 1,780 transit buses in its fleet, 1,258 of which are New Flyer buses.

Each bus will be equipped with New Flyer Connect, New Flyer’s onboard remote vehicle management system, enabling the CTA to achieve the best performance and safety out of its buses by providing the right information, to the right people at the right time. Real time problem reporting of operational and vehicle health data is said to provide transit authorities with the ability to monitor and improve fuel economy, schedule preventative maintenance and ensure that the vehicle operates safely.


  • Max Reid

    Already there are lot of Diesel Electric Hybrid Buses. If its a plugin, then its news.

  • Tony Tan

    If they launch a Plugin version with some 50 mile range, that should be good. It can be recharged once at night and once during lunch and this will give 100 mile Electric range.

  • Todd1964

    I work for Mass Transit in my State. We have been using Diesel Electric Hybrid for a few years. We also use bio-diesel. Our Hybrid buses get 23% better fuel economy over our regular diesel buses and 30% better mpg over our bio-diesel buses. That said, we have come under scrutiny for paying the higher costs for the Hybrid and Bio-Diesel buses over conventional diesel buses. We can get 3 regular diesel buses for the same cost as 2 Hybrid Diesel Electric buses. Average life of the bus is 13 years and near 1 million miles. Selling the public on cleaner air is a difficult sell, especially in the Western States (California excluded). Our experience with NF buses was not good. We went with a California made Hybrid bus and have had great success and reliability. http://www.gillig.com/New%20GILLIG%20WEB/hybrid.htm

  • Andy

    The California-made buses you are referring to (made by Gillig Corp in Hayward) are quite reliable in my experience as well, but unfortunately Gillig does not produce 60-foot buses, and as far as I can tell has no plans to do so. Its largest model is a 40 foot bus (the Advantage 40), which would not meet the CTA’s capacity needs. I’d love to see Gillig expand into the 60-foot bus market, but for now New Flyer is one of the CTA’s only options (it actually purchased some 60-foot buses from NABI a few years ago and took them out of service due to defects – those were replaced by New Flyers).

  • Andy

    The California-made buses you are referring to (made by Gillig Corp in Hayward) are quite reliable in my experience as well, but unfortunately Gillig does not produce 60-foot buses, and as far as I can tell has no plans to do so. Its largest model is a 40 foot bus (the Advantage 40), which would not meet the CTA’s capacity needs. I’d love to see Gillig expand into the 60-foot bus market, but for now New Flyer is one of the CTA’s only options (it actually purchased some 60-foot buses from NABI a few years ago and took them out of service due to defects – those were replaced by New Flyers).

  • Andy

    The California-made buses you are referring to (made by Gillig Corp in Hayward) are quite reliable in my experience as well, but unfortunately Gillig does not produce 60-foot buses, and as far as I can tell has no plans to do so. Its largest model is a 40 foot bus (the Advantage 40), which would not meet the CTA’s capacity needs. I’d love to see Gillig expand into the 60-foot bus market, but for now New Flyer is one of the CTA’s only options (it actually purchased some 60-foot buses from NABI a few years ago and took them out of service due to defects – those were replaced by New Flyers).

  • edwin

    that’s funny, i work with mta of LA as of right now we have been buying nothing but cng nabi 45ft compos and 60 ft steel body artics. we’ve had so many problems with both the artics and the 45 ft busses. from the artics frame breaking apart to ground problems with the composite busses. now we even have an issue with cummins were the egr cooler been failing, and ignition module failures and causing lots of breakdowns. Its pretty messed up tax dollars being spent on worthless products but i guess its job security for the service people that try hard to keep the busses running. when these busses run out of warranty MTA is gonna have to pay lots of overtime or hire lots of mechanics. lol