University researchers help to make bus routes more efficient

Professors and Metro Transit will begin testing electric buses.

by Jonathan Tvedt

Along with studying the efficiency of hybrid and diesel buses, University of Minnesota and Metro Transit researchers will also begin looking into the impact of electric buses. 
The University’s Center for Transportation Studies and Metro Transit  conducted research that compared hybrid and diesel buses and their fuel efficiency on certain types of routes. Now, the two partners have included electric buses in the research, said Howie Padilla, public relations manager at Metro Transit. 
Previous studies done by University researchers have shown that while advanced hybrid shuttles are effective, they still have strong levels of emissions on certain routes. 
Padilla said the research, which focused on bus emissions, concluded that advanced hybrid shuttles are best used in routes with lots of stops, and are not as effective when operating at higher speeds with fewer stops.  
Despite this work done to improve fuel efficiency, diesel buses will continue to be used while more research is conducted, Padilla said.