The following press release appeared on the Kingston Transit web page. I wish I had some photos of the green bus to display.
Starting this week, the City of Kingston began a trial program designed to test whether using smaller buses on select routes will save money and contribute to a cleaner environment.
Three new "small" buses have been purchased, the first of which was introduced last week on Route 1A, the Belle Park "park and ride" route.
The new buses, manufactured by El Dorado National, are smaller than those already familiar to Kingston Transit riders, with the capacity to carry approximately 20 seated passengers rather than the traditional 40.
These diesel fuel-powered buses cost $90,000 as opposed to $400,000 for a traditional bus and are expected to be more environmentally friendly due to the lower volume of fuel consumed - approximately one-half of that of its larger counterpart.
Kingston Transit expects this pilot program will reveal whether fuel savings are available with long-term use, as well as having a positive long-term impact on the environment without affecting customer service. By reducing fuel consumption from buses the City hopes to cut costs and reduce exhaust emissions that contribute to climate change and smog.
The new buses are also being introduced on Route 7, which currently travels between the Cataraqui Town Centre, RIO-CAN Centre, Gardiners Town Centre and Reddendale Plaza.
"Kingston Transit selected Route 7 to initiate the smaller buses as it has the fewest riders and travels through a residential area," says Paula Nichols, manager of Kingston Transit. "Smaller buses are more economical for routes with fewer passengers, as they are less expensive to purchase and use less fuel."
If the pilot is successful, Kingston Transit plans to add smaller buses to other routes across the city later this year, in particular as additional residential feeder routes. Eight more buses are anticipated to be implemented on three additional routes over the next couple of years if the pilot program proves successful.