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Pace to Debut Hybrid Buses in North Suburbs

Two greener buses will now join the Pace fleet for service in Northbrook, as well as in Deerfield, Highwood and Highland Park.

Public transit is about to get a little greener in the north suburbs. On Tuesday afternoon, Pace debuted two 30-foot buses that utilize a diesel-electric hybrid engine during a ceremony in Highland Park.

The new buses will operate on routes within Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park and Highwood. Their engines can be switched from diesel fuel to an electric motor, which generates virtually no carbon emissions.

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The environmentally friendly buses in Northbrook will join hybrid paratransit vehicles already operating in the west and northwest suburbs, according to a press release from Pace.

Tuesday's 2:30 p.m. event, hosted at the City of Highland Park Public Works building, featured remarks from U.S. Rep. Robert Dold, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and Pace Board Chair Richard Kwasneski.

"As a community dedicated to sustainable practices, we are appreciative of Pace's continued partnership with us in working to improve their fleet's impact on our environment." Mayor Rotering told Patch in an email.

Meanwhile the manufacturer of the buses estimates a 25 percent improvement in fuel economy over existing diesel buses, according to Wilmot.

"We’re going to keep a close eye on how much fuel we save in different situations so that we can try to maximize the savings," he said.

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