Hybrid Coaches Mean Cleaner Air

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					                                                           Hybrid Coaches Mean
                                                               Cleaner Air

                                                        The new hybrid diesel-electric buses use one-third less fuel and
                                                        dramatically reduce emissions.
                                                        Spokane Transit recently took delivery of three

                                                        40’ Gillig diesel-electric hybrid buses as part of a
                                                        large purchase by another transit agency. Eighty
                                                        percent of the funds used to buy the buses came
                                                        from a federal grant.
                                                            The hybrid coaches look similar to regular
                                                        diesel coaches except for a large area on the top
                                                        of the bus that holds the batteries for the drive
                                                        system and some hybrid markings to distinguish
                                                        them from the other coaches. They were deliv-

    Spokane Transit’s
                                                        ered in late 2007 and have been in use since the
                                                        beginning of this year.
                                                                                                               The diesel-electric hybrid buses are being used on a

    Rider Publication
                                                            The General Motors drive system that pro-          variety of routes throughout the STA system.
                                                        vides power for the bus is similar to other hybrid
                                                        vehicles in that it uses a blending of diesel and      control system like most new traditional diesel-
                                                        electric power—but is different than most pas-         powered buses, but the braking system also serves
                                                        senger car hybrid systems because the diesel en-       as a generator to recharge the batteries. This “re-
                                                        gine must idle at all times to operate the power       generative braking” makes the vehicle slow down

February/March                                          steering and other accessory systems such as the
                                                            When traveling less than 10 miles per hour,
                                                                                                               a little more quickly when the bus begins coasting
                                                                                                               to a stop.
                                                                                                                    Over a twelve-year life cycle, fuel savings are

                                                        the hybrid buses use the low-torque power from         estimated to be between 31 and 35 thousand
                                                        the electrical drive system to move the vehicle.       gallons per vehicle when compared to the fuel
                                                        To sustain higher speeds, the hybrids must use         consumption of a traditional diesel-powered bus.
                                                        the power generated from the diesel engine. This       Each hybrid will also reduce the production of
                                                        “blending” is controlled by an on-board com-           carbon-dioxide by 352 tons from that of a tradi-
                                                        puter that uses an extensive series of sensors         tional bus while producing sound levels compa-
                                                        to accelerate the diesel engine and manage the         rable to a passenger car.
                                                        power transition.                                           The hybrid coaches are being used on a vari-
                                                            The drive system uses an automatic traction        ety of routes throughout the STA system.

 New Route Serves
                                                                The Big Read: Libraries to Hold Information Sessions at The Plaza
Northside Commuters                                       The Spokane Public Library, Spokane County Library District and Fairchild Air Force Base Library
                                                          have received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to help restore reading to the center of
                                                          American culture. The grant program, known as The Big Read, will be active in the Spokane
                                                          community through February and March.
                                                             Representatives from the libraries will be in The Plaza on February 7th and 14th from 3:00
                                                          p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to provide more information about the upcoming events. The first activity will
                                                          be a series of local readings and showings of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.

The North Express buses have a very distinctive look.
The new route serving Spo-
kane’s northside commuters,
                                             O          Milestones 2007: Ten Million Rides
                                  More        nline
officially known as the 124
North Express, began operation on January 21,           Strong Community Support Vital to Key                 Additionally, STA took delivery of 26 new
                                                        Accomplishments for STA in 2007                   buses (six articulated buses and three diesel-
2008. The route operates during peak com-
mute times from the Hastings Park & Ride lot to                                                           electric hybrids) and seven smaller 14-passenger
downtown Spokane via Wall and Monroe streets            Thanks to the enthusiastic support of the Spo-    vans for fixed-route use in 2007. A Washington
and travels back to the Hastings Park & Ride lot        kane community, ridership at Spokane Transit      State Department of Ecology grant allowed STA
using the same route. It takes just over 30 min-        over the last two years is one of the highest     to continue to retrofit newer emission systems
utes for each one-way trip.                             in the nation—more than three times the na-       on 83 buses which will reduce particulate emis-
    The new route arrives and departs down-             tional average—for                                                             sions by 90 percent.
town at the Bank of America (Zone B) on the             all urban transporta-      ...Spokane Transit operates the most Spokane Transit also
corner of Riverside and Wall. The 124 North             tion systems. Over-        cost effective and efficient urban                  added 20 vans to the
Express only stops at Francis and Monroe,               all, ridership on the                                                          Vanpool fleet in 2007.
                                                                                   transit system in Washington State.
Wellesley and Monroe and at Broadway and                fixed-route buses is up                                                           Early morning
Monroe near the Spokane County campus.                  more than 25 percent since 2003.                  service was introduced on four main routes, with
    To view the route schedule, visit our website             A combined total (fixed-route buses, Para-  arrival times at The Plaza as early as 5:45 a.m.
at www.spokanetransit.com.                              transit and Vanpool) of ten million rides were    The 124 North Express route was also added
       New Voter Service Center                         given last year. The ridership data for 2007      and seven buses were completely refurbished for
                                                        shows bus ridership up 12.2 percent, Paratransit  that route.
       Opening Inside The Plaza
                                                        ridership up three percent and Vanpool use up         STA introduced free wireless internet on the
  Voter Service Centers allow people to:                three percent.                                    articulated buses in 2007 and installed the same
    • Drop Off Completed Ballots                              Although STA experienced such a dramatic    systems on the North Express buses.
    • Get Replacement Envelopes
                                                        increase in ridership, the cost effectiveness and     The new Trip Planner software (featured on
    • Vote a Provisional Ballot
    • Use a Disability Accessibility Voting Device
                                                        efficiency of the system never declined. In fact, page 2) was also developed for the official STA
    • Get Answers to Voting Questions                   according to the 2006 Washington State Sum-       website, www. spokanetransit.com, while traffic
                                                        mary of Public Transportation, Spokane Transit    to the site increased more than 50 percent over
 Voter Service Center Opens February 19, 2008
             Presidential Primary                       operates the most cost effective and efficient    2006. The total number of visits to the website
                                                        urban Transit System in Washington State.         in 2007 was 253,948.
O Board 2                         n
          Online Trip Planner A Powerful Tool

  1) Enter the information for your trip 2) Select from the possible options 3) View and print the details                                                Find
                                                                                                                                                          More   O    nline

 STA Website Uses Most Current Data                                                                                       SAFETY NOTICE
Trip Planner uses real-time infor-                   the software scans all the route data and delivers
                                                     a list of possible trip options to choose from. By                 No Boarding Allowed After
mation from STA’s own database.                      clicking on the Details button next to one of the
                                                     proposed trips you can see the specific informa-
                                                                                                                         Buses Leave Their Zones
In January, 2008, Spokane Transit unveiled a
                                                     tion you’ll need to complete that trip—such as                     Passengers should not try to board buses
new internet-based Trip Planner. Now,
                                                     transfer points and times as well as a detailed map                after they start to pull away from their
anyone can plan trips at anytime by visiting the                                                                        designated zones at The Plaza. As the drivers
STA website at www.spokanetransit.com.               of the trip.
                                                          The Trip Planner software reads route infor-                  pull away from the curb, they are attempting
     The program allows you to enter your                                                                               to merge into traffic.
origin and destination locations, your desired       mation from STA’s own database which is up-
                                                     dated whenever there are route adjustments or                          Any distraction from people wanting to
time of travel and the way you wish the infor-                                                                          board the bus after it has started to leave
mation to be displayed (by overall trip time,        revisions. The software is also designed to syn-
                                                                                                                        can create disruptions which could lead to an
                                                     chronize the date of your trip request with the
walking distance or number of transfers).You                                                                            accident. If you’ve missed a bus you wished to
                                                     dates of service in the STA database. This means
can also choose locations by selecting from a                                                                           board, please refrain from entering the street
                                                     you can search for trip information using a future
list of pre-existing landmarks such as hospitals                                                                        to get the driver’s attention. It is not safe for
                                                     date and rely on the information to be accurate.
and schools. Once that information is entered,                                                                          you or the passengers on the bus.

 Spokane County                                          During the exercises, two separate teams
                                                     of officers practice simultaneous maneuvers to

 SWAT Team Well                                      quickly take control of the vehicle and subdue any-
                                                     one who might cause harm to the passengers or
  Trained in Bus                                     the coach operator. The SWAT team also learns
                                                     the subtle differences between the various buses.
      Tactics                                            In the rare event it becomes necessary for
                                                     a bus to be boarded by SWAT team members,
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Special Weap-           remain calm and wait for instructions from the of-
ons and Tactics team conducts extensive train-       ficers. Do not try to help the officers or become
ing with STA vehicles each year. The purpose         involved in any way.
of the training is to determine the best pos-            “We work at this very hard,” said Brett Hubbell,
sible ways to disable and board buses in order       Spokane County Deputy Sheriff. “When we get
                                                                                                                      Art Blodgett, STA Coach Operator, informs Brett Hubbell,
to apprehend suspects and ensure the safety          into a tight spot such as a bus, we need bystanders              Spokane County SWAT Training Coordinator, how the
of passengers.                                       to cooperate as much as possible.”                               door systems work on a 40-foot TMC coach.

Public Meetings
                                                           Board of Directors                                           Citizen Advisory            Operations & Customer
                                                           Spokane City Hall            • Meetings can be seen live     Committee                   Service Committee
                                                           Council Chambers             on Cable 5, and replay          STA Northside Conf. Room    STA Southside Conf. Room
                                                           808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.   the following Saturday at       1230 W. Boone Ave.          1229 W. Boone Ave.
Upon request, alternative formats of this document         • February 21, 5:30 p.m.     4 p.m., Monday at 10 a.m.       • February 13, 5 p.m.       • February 6, 1:30 p.m.
will be produced for people with disabilities.             • March 20, 5:30 p.m.        and Tuesday at 8 p.m.           • March 12, 5 p.m.          • March 5, 1:30 p.m.