Skip to content

STV Vehicles Procurement Team Earns Praise for New Hybrid-Electric Buses

Jan 30, 2019

The first of 78 new diesel hybrid-electric, articulated buses that will make up the next generation of Westchester County, NY’s Bee-Line bus fleet, arrived this month and quickly generated praise for STV’s vehicle procurement team.

“The county had one of the best engineering firms in the country on bus procurement coming up with the original specs,” said Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation (WCDPW&T) Commissioner Hugh Greechan during a ceremony celebrating the buses’ arrival.

STV worked with the WCDPW&T to develop the technical specifications for the new 60-foot, high-capacity, articulated buses that are being manufactured by New Flyer of America. Over their lifespan, the hybrid buses are expected to save 850,000 gallons of fuel and prevent 12,400 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.

“This contract has been a long time in the making and we’re thrilled to have technology partners that really will help us position our Bee-Line bus system at the forefront of both technology and environmental protections,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “Not only are we saving money, but we’re celebrating sustainable transportation and doing our best to help protect the environment.”

The county’s Bee-Line bus system is second in New York State only to MTA New York City Transit’s bus fleet and serves over 100,000 daily riders on nearly 60 routes across a geographically diverse 400-square-mile area. The county’s terrain proved to be the most challenging aspect to finding the most suitable bus type and propulsion system. Working with WCDPW&T and the Bee-Line’s private operator, Liberty Lines Transit, the STV-led procurement team performed hill-climbing and acceleration tests to find a propulsion system that would provide enough horsepower to climb steep hills and maintain route schedules without sacrificing fuel economy and rear-axle reliability.

Based on the testing, STV developed the technical specifications calling for a hybrid-electric series configuration that operates on both battery and diesel fuel. Designed and manufactured by BAE SYSTEMS in Endicott, NY, the buses are equipped with anti-idling technology and can operate for up to a mile on battery power alone. The $1.1 million buses can carry up to 117 passengers and include amenities like USB charging ports at every seat, bike racks, and upgraded security with 14 cameras and a protective shield for operators. Between three and five buses will be delivered from New Flyer’s St. Cloud, MN, plant every week through June to complete the $90 million total order.

“This is the first time in over nine years that the county has bought a bus, so we knew we had to capture all the technological advances in the bus transit industry from the past decade,” said Paul Kaufmann, STV’s manager of bus systems engineering. “They retained STV based on our experience and expertise in the industry. The buses not only met the county’s mandate for ultra-low-emission vehicles, but also have the capability of negotiating the county’s notoriously hilly terrain while operating comfortably at highway speeds.”