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COTA Rolls Out New Hybrid-Electric Buses

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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COTA is turning a little bit greener today as they introduce six new hybrid-electric buses into their fleet. The hybrid buses will feature a distinct design and color scheme that will help them to stand out from the standard vehicles.

“COTA is committed to making environmentally responsible choices that ensure our business practices support healthy, livable communities,” said Bill Lhota, COTA President and CEO. “Sustainable actions taken today will protect the environment for the future.”

The hybrid buses will be cycled through multiple routes every day, but primarily used on routes where speeds are lower and stops are more frequent.

“Every time the brakes are applied, the electric motor is recharged,” explained Beth Berkemer, Public and Media Relations Manager at COTA. “When the bus is kept at lower speeds, the diesel engine remains at idle with the electric motor doing the majority of the work – lowering the use of fuel.”

Bill Lhota, along with Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and other elected officials will be unveiling the new buses and speaking today about COTA’s sustainability program at the the Fields Avenue Facility at 2pm.

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  • Urbanboi


  • Analogue Kid

    Hooray I can’t wait to see them

  • Updated with photos.

  • PodFive

    Awesome. I hope to see one on the #2 or #7 so I can check it out.

  • Pablo

    Good news indeed.

    Any word on the status of the accordion busses?

  • Last I heard (in January) there was city legislation approved to allow for the longer articulated (ie: accordion) buses, but COTA had not purchased any as of yet.

  • jmathews5

    Definitely happy to read this.  I was wondering about the bio fuel seeing as how slowly but surely, the city auto’s here are converting over to bio fuel and I was wondering when for COTA :)

  • Jeftrokat

    Beautiful! I can’t wait to ride one!

  • pedex


    COTA was using biodiesel for awhile, they switched back recently IIRC. Price spread got too big to ignore I think.

  • NerosNeptune

    Wish they would have said what the mileage per gallon difference is.

    Edit: Nevermind,, the dispatch article says they get 7mpg, twice as high as regular buses. They should start showing up on routes in June.

  • Now if only they’d provide regular service after 9 vs. one bus an hour. Those bus drivers are being paid by the hour, no? So what are they doing after they make the hourly drive? Idling? Kinda negates the greenness of the new buses.

  • somebuckeye

    Awesome.  I wonder how long it would take to upgrade the entire fleet?  I hate loud, smelly buses.

    /lives on a street with two lines

  • Now if we can only get free recycling for every resident in the city of Columbus maybe more folks would participate!  Good job COTA

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