Hybrid Buses Hit the Streets of Lubbock, Texas

eCity Bus

In brief: Six new diesel hybrid-electric buses begin service in Lubbock, Texas this month, amid controversy over their value.

Vehicle in the news

Make/Model: eHybrid Bus
Manufacturer: Citibus

The word

eHybrid Citibus

The buses should get use 40% less fuel than their standard diesel counterparts, but that comes at a price.

The buses also have a lower passenger capacity, have twice the price tag of their counterparts, and a lifespan of only about half as long.

The financial viability of the buses hinges on federal grants rather than on the true eco-savings the hybrid buses might deliver.

This has many Lubbock residents upset. One remarked, on the Lubbock Online newspaper website that it "Sounds like a waste of money..."

"So, let's recap... The new buses cost twice as much, have a lower capacity, and a life span of seven years when the buses they are replacing have been in service for 13 years? Sounds like a waste of money in every regard."

Of course, others touted the green savings in smog and emissions thanks to the lower fuel usage.

And so ...

The idea of more eco-friendly transportation is, of course, popular and a good thing, but this interim step using hybrids in large vehicles may be more of a burden on taxpayers than they're willing to carry.

Photo credits: Lubbock Online

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