Monday, April 25, 2005

Yosemite Switches to Hybrid Buses

Visitors to national parks such as Yosemite do not come in order to see and breathe black smoke from diesel buses. Since Yosemite banned private cars during peak season a few years ago, diesel buses have been shuttling visitors around the park. The Sacramento Union reports that those buses are now being replaced with hybrid diesel-electric ones. Link.
The diesel-electric buses like the ones delivered to Yosemite National Park on Monday are already running in 22 cities around the country, but this will be the first fleet to operate in a national park. The shuttles will carry visitors along Yosemite Valley, and into the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, a stand of some of the world’s largest trees.

The vehicles still consume diesel, but they’re vastly more fuel efficient, according to General Motors Corp. [...]

The hybrid buses produce up to 90 percent less emissions, one of the reasons why park officials chose the technology, National Park Service Deputy Director Don Murphy said in a statement.

The new buses are also much quieter than the conventional models.

This strikes me as a good use for a portion of the admission fees. The old noisy and dirty buses detracted some from the enjoyment of being in Yosemite, and these new buses will hopefully enhance the experience. How often do people get something for fees paid to the government?


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