Hybrid Intracampus Bus Service and Green Car

Project Title: Hybrid-Electric Intracampus Bus Service and Green Car

Project Timeline:

  • 2-3 years(Depending on funding and/or subsidizing of costs)
  • This is a longer term project due to the current pricing of hybrid-electric buses in comparison to diesel buses. Additionally, the costs of a regular bus would be difficult to fund in a couple of years. So, if the Sustainability Fee Advisory Board saves a percentage of the budget for a couple of years then they can afford a greener method of student and faculty transportation
  • The transition into using these vehicles could be instant since drivers will be given the same class of vehicle(bus and shuttle bus), but a hybrid or electric alternate

Project Description:

The UIC Climate Commitments are goals set by UIC to “reduce the University’s carbon emissions to 40% below 2004 levels by 2030 and 80% below 2004 levels by 2050″(UIC Office of Sustainability). The first goal listed is a Carbon Neutral Campus in which UIC “will strive to achieve carbon neutrality.” This goal, can be reached through changing the current mode of Intracampus Bus and Red Car Services.

The Intracampus Bus offers transportation for students and faculty, servicing East and West Campus, running for about 16 hours a day. In this time, the bus will make constant cycles around campus, contributing to the carbon emissions by the University. Therefore, a more sustainable option would be to invest in hybrid-electric buses that will replace the current diesel buses. The benefits of a hybrid-electric bus in comparison to diesel buses are “significantly lower emissions, increased efficiency, and decreased maintenance costs”(EESI). This would ultimately help the university reduce it’s CO2 emissions and promote the goals of the UIC Climate Commitments to lessen the impact on climate change.

The UIC Red Car Service is an Off-Hour Paratransit Service available to students, faculty, and employees from 11 P.M. to 7 A.M. It is a shuttle bus that runs all over campus depending on where students need to go. Though it is a single vehicle or couple of vehicles, they contribute to UIC’s CO2 emissions everyday. Similar to the hybrid-electric bus, a better option is to convert to a hybrid or electric shuttle bus for the Red Car Service. re areaAlso like the hybrid-electric bus, this would reduce the University’s carbon footprint since it endorses an environmental-friendly vehicle for student service.

These two conversion to hybrid-electric powered vehicles would alleviate the current stress that the University is putting on the environment. Currently, the bus service starts at 7 A.M. and stops at around 11 P.M. from which Red Car Service begins and ceases at 7 A.M. So, the University has 24 hours of potential CO2 emissions everyday. These emissions would significantly drop if the University used “green vehicles.”

Preliminary Project Budget:

  • The costs of hybrid-electric buses are $450,000 compared to a diesel bus at $300,000. This difference however is about $150,000 but “the federal Clean Fuels Grant Program covers 90 percent of the incremental cost of alternative fuel buses, including hybrids. In addition, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) covers up to 80 percent of the purchase price of a standard diesel bus”(EESI).


“Hybrid Buses Costs and Benefits.” EESI. EESI, n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.

“UIC Climate Commitments | Office of Sustainability.” Office of Sustainability. UIC, n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.



One thought on “Hybrid Intracampus Bus Service and Green Car

  1. Your plan for the project seems really well planned and you’ve obviously done your research about it. I found an article describing New York City’s experience with hybrid-electric buses. Essentially the city ended up removing about a fourth of their hybrid buses because of cost of maintenance being too high. This is something to consider. They did however say that by putting them on more “stop and go” routes that the buses perform much better because they are harvest energy when they brake and coast. This would be ideal for the current bus routes. Great Post.



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