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The Nova hybrid buses are out and about

The Nova hybrid buses are out and about

A new Nova hybrid bus on the 106 route.
A new Nova hybrid bus on the 106 route.

The first of our diesel-electric hybrid buses from Nova went into service this week!

Seventeen Nova hybrids arrived a few weeks ago, and after getting radios installed, the first few went into service on routes like the 130 and the 106.

The new Nova hybrid buses have new stickers to help you open the door. It's like giving the bus a high-five! :)
The new Nova hybrid buses have new stickers to help you open the door. It

We’re expecting 141 of these vehicles in total over the next three months, and we do already have 39 articulated hybrid buses from New Flyer on the streets — they all went into service by September 2009.

So, how can you spot these hybrids? Again, from the outside, the biggest difference from a conventional bus is the big grey boxy hump on top of the back section. And there’s also a hybrid sticker on the window beside the front door.

Look out for the interiors too — the interior layout is the same a regular Nova, except now it has two rows of rear-facing seats in the back.

The seats also have new upholstery, like the seats on the articulated hybrids and the new SkyTrains. Plus there’s new door stickers, and the stanchions (the yellow poles) have a new arched design!

Here’s what I was told about how the hybrids work, by the way:

The hybrid buses use a smaller diesel engine and start off from a stop on an electric motor powered by a battery pack and diesel powered generator. The buses are quieter than any previous diesel bus in the TransLink fleet and the hybrids should have 20% better fuel economy and 20% lower green house gas emissions. The buses have to be operated in very urban bus service (lots of stop and go) to regenerate power to the batteries under braking.

Also, for those curious, I’m told the Nova hybrid vehicle numbers are from 9401-9542, skipping over 9500.

More photos of the buses, all courtesy of Leon from our engineering group!

A Nova hybrid bus at the garage, being inspected and tuned up after arriving from the manufacturer.
A Nova hybrid bus at the garage, getting its radio installed being inspected and tuned up after arriving from the manufacturer
A Nova hybrid bus up on hoists at the garage!
A Nova hybrid bus up on hoists at the garage!
The back end of a Nova hybrid at the garage.
The back end of a Nova hybrid at the garage.
A Nova hybrid on the 130 route, parked at Metrotown Station loop.
A Nova hybrid on the 130 route, parked at Metrotown Station loop.
A Nova hybrid on the 130 route, parked at Metrotown Station loop.
A Nova hybrid on the 130 route, parked at Metrotown Station loop.
A Nova hybrid on the 130 route, parked at Metrotown Station loop. You can see the arched stanchions inside!
A Nova hybrid on the 130 route, parked at Metrotown Station loop. You can see the arched stanchions inside!
The back end of a Nova hybrid bus on the 106 route.
The back end of a Nova hybrid bus on the 106 route.
Side view of a Nova hybrid on the 106 route.
Side view of a Nova hybrid on the 106 route.
The interior layout at the rear of the Nova hybrid. Can you see the second row of rear-facing seats?
The interior layout at the rear of the Nova hybrid. Can you see the second row of rear-facing seats?