There was a bevy of transit officials and politicians assembled Friday at West Brighton's Castleton Depot as the first 15 Orion VII Next Generation Hybrid-Electric buses were officially feted on Staten Island. These are just a few of the 850 strong order on its way to New York. Staten Island will receive 159 of these which will make the gas-saving hybrids a full 51 percent of the fleet. At $514,000 apiece the buses aren't cheap, but officials expect them to require less maintenance as well as save 50,000 gallons of fuel over their 12-year life.

Besides the hybrid technology the buses also boast smarts of another kind and can transmit all sorts of data, from the inside temperature to the number of times the doors are opened. Other features range from small touches like LED bulbs to client conveniences such as a lower floor for easier boarding and a flip out ramp to accommodate wheelchairs or passengers with strollers.

[Source: Staten Island Live]


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