The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in California has switched out 75 older cars for new hybrids. The new hybrid fleet is part of the paratransit service which offers transportation to individuals with disabilities.
If an individual's disability prevents independent access to, and use of VTA's accessible bus and light rail services, then VTA offers specialized accessible paratransit services to those eligible, as specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Appendix 49 CFR37.123)The VTA provided 60 hybrids to Outreach, it's paratransit operator. The VTA estimates the 60 Toyota Prius cover about 3.4 million miles a year or about 35 percent of the Outreach's total mileage. But they only account for 15 percent of the total fuel. That means by using hybrids, the service is saving 121,000 gallons a year.
The ten Ford Escape Hybrids and five Prius will perform other duties in the VTA’s Protective Services and Construction divisions. They will be used in high-mileage activities and patrol.
"With the market's volatile gas prices, investing in hybrid technology is paying off," said VTA General Manager Michael Burns. "Providing the same level of mobility and service to our customers while reducing VTA's carbon footprint and dependency on fuel is a win-win for VTA."
During fiscal year 2008 VTA paratransit provided a total of 1,055,429 passenger trips to 11,109 customers.