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ABQ RIDE to expand hybrid fleet


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Here in Albuquerque, our local transit authority ABQ RIDE is looking to expand their diesel-electric hybrid fleet. Currently, the plan calls for 30-40 new 40-foot hybrids, and 10 new 60-foot hybrids.


Currently, ABQ RIDE operates 76 New Flyer hybrids (58 DE40LFRs and 18 DE60LFs). I called the Albuquerque purchasing department, and the person I spoke to said that so far only New Flyer has bid for the additional contract and the city is reviewing specifications.


I hope the next batch of ten 60-foot buses for the Rapid Ride are DE60LFRs with frameless windows.


Also, I wonder if the new 40-foot hybrids will be used to replace any older vehicles. In addition to the New Flyer hybrids, ABQ RIDE operates a fleet of Neoplan AN440 CNGs and Thomas SLF232 CNGs). The Neoplans were built in 1996, but are still going strong. The Thomases, on the other hand, were built in 2001, but suffer from poor performance and frequent breakdowns. I personally would rather see the SLFs retired rather than the Neoplans. The 58 DE40LFRs that were delivered late 2007/early 2008 replaced the aging fleet of TMC RTS buses built in 1989.

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