The first hydrogen bus in the midwest will begin service in Genesee County next week and riders will have to be on the lookout, because they won't hear it coming.
Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) General Manager Ed Benning says the bus is "ultra quiet" and runs entirely on a hydrogen fuel cell.
"The water that drips out of the tailpipie is sterlie enough to make coffee with," said Benning.
Customers will get their first chance to ride the hydrogen bus when it begins service on May 29.
Benning also commented on the enhanced training that drivers must undergo before they are certified to operate the environmentally friendly four-wheeler.
"The bus is a hydro-electric vehicle, so the drivers need to use the break in a much different fashion," said Benning. "There are special requirements for breaking system and this vehicle has 15 differense sensors."
The bus can run approximately 250 miles before it has to fuel back up, so theoretically it can be on the street for an entire day and only use about a half a tank of gas.
MTA is leasing the bus from United Technologies Corporation and used grant money to fund it, so don't expect the fee of $1 for a ride to go up anytime soon.
An alternative fueling station has been constructed in Grand Blanc Township at the MTA Service Center on 5052 S. Dort Highway and will serve as home for the vehcile when it's not in use.
The technology for the fueling station is powered by a proton electrolyzer, which uses electricity and water to create hydrogen. It then compresses the hydorgen and dispenses it with a pump it into the vehcile similar to that found at a gas station.
The fuel for the bus is stored in a compartment on the roof of the vehicle.
The hydrogen fuel cell bus is a zero emission vehicle and the first of its kind in not only Genesee County but the entire midwest.