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MAYOR UNVEILS NEW FUEL-EFFICIENT BUSES, EARTH MONTH ACTIVITIES

 

(Thurs., April 1, 2010)—Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced a wide range of events and opportunities the City will sponsor or participate in for Earth Month, beginning with a dedication ceremony to introduce the first of 20 new heavy-duty hybrid buses that are joining the City’s fleet, offering cleaner, quieter, more fuel-efficient transportation solution component of Honolulu’s multi-modal transportation solution.

 

            “These vehicles are a wonderful addition to our public transportation network,” said Hannemann, who presided over the ceremony that included US Senator Daniel Inouye and City transportation officials. “They will improve fuel efficiency, help ease crowding during peak periods, and increase passenger comfort.”

 

            The City purchased the 60-foot, articulated hybrid buses with $20.4 million in federal economic stimulus funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Hannemann thanked Senator Inouye for his leadership in helping win approval of the act and for securing funding for Honolulu.

 

            The new and larger buses were manufactured by New Flyer and have 55 seats per bus, compared to 37 seats on a regular 40-foot bus. Including standing passengers, the new buses can carry approximately 100 people, compared to 59 passengers for a 40-foot bus.

 

            The new buses will also improve fuel economy by up to 30 percent on Honolulu’s urban routes. New low-emission engines will be more than 25 times cleaner than the 1994 buses that are being replaced.

 

Each bus can accommodate two wheel chairs or scooters, and feature low floors without entrance steps. The buses can “kneel” to 10 inches off the ground, or about 4 inches above most curbs. Each bus can also accommodate up to three bicycles.

 

In addition, the buses feature advanced communication systems, including GPS location, data radios, on-board computers and emergency alarms, and are equipped with “Smart bus” features including automated “next stop” announcements and automated interior information signs to help people navigate the bus system.

 

Honolulu has a full roster of activities and projects timed to coincide with Earth Month 2010 (April).  In keeping with the goals of Mayor Hannemann’s 21st Century Ahupua’a sustainability program, the city is engaged in a variety environmental and educational events and opportunities for Honolulu’s people. Events featured in the City’s new Earth Month Calendar include:

·       Transit Oriented Development seminar (Farrington High School – April 6)

Explore the economic potential of development in and around the transit stations

·       Farmer’s Market, every Wednesday at 4 pm (Blaisdell Center)

Fresh produce, flowers and other products direct from the farm

·       Conservation Lecture Series at Hanauma Bay Education Center

Learn about conservation strategies for the reef and shoreline

·       Demonstrations & Lectures at several of the Botanical Gardens including Foster, Ho’omaluhia and Wahiawa Botanical Gardens

Learn about care and propagation of Hawaii’s exotic plants from experts

·       Stream Cleanups across the Island, including Manoa, Kalihi, Palolo and more

Join your neighbors and help keep Oahu’s streams clear of debris so it doesn’t end up in the ocean

·       Annual Mauka to Makai Earth Month Expo at Waikiki Aquarium (April 10)

Earth-friendly exhibits and activities from 9 am to 2 pm, annual fish release, Free native plant to first 500

·       4th Annual Pearl Harbor Basin Bike Path Cleanup

Help keep Honolulu’s scenic bike path clean and safe

·       Downtown Green Market at Fort Street Mall on Earth Day (April 22)

Get “Green” right in the middle of downtown – exhibits and booths provide “green” information and shopping

·       Recycle A Shoe drive culminating at Honolulu Hale (April 25)

Honolulu’s annual collection of old athletic shoes for recycling into sports surfaces for playground, courts and tracks

 

For more information on these and other city environment projects go to: www.SustainHonolulu.com or www.Honolulu.gov

 

 

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Media contacts: Transportation Director Wayne Yoshioka 768-8303,

Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928