The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, which serves the city of Aspen, Colorado, launched its new fleet of hybrid buses on Friday. The New Flyer transit buses have a bidiesel-fueled hybrid powertrain manufactured by GM Allison Transmission.

Vehicle exhaust emissions are a major air pollution issue in mountain valley towns, where temperature inversions, particularly common in winter months, allow pollutants to accumulate near the ground. The city of Denver, Colorado, gets its infamous "brown cloud" from vehicle emissions trapped in the Platte River valley.

Tom Stephens, group vice president, GM Powertrain, points out that the hybrid powertrain in the buses served as a starting point for GM's co-development of a two-mode full hybrid system for lighter vehicles, including the two-mode full hybrid to be launched in the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.

[Source: GM]

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