"Live cardinal and gold. Ride green."

CyRide's fleet of 12 new Cybrids were revealed Saturday afternoon. The new buses are the largest hybrid bus fleet in the state of Iowa, said Sheri Kyras, CyRide transit director.

Kyras said this is one step of many that will be taken to make CyRide's service, building and vehicles greener.

"This is a unique transit system with a marriage between the university staff and students and the city transit system," said Robert Anders, president of the Transit Board of Trustees.

Anders said the Cybrids will help reduce Ames' carbon footprint and make Ames a more sustainable community.

"Transit by nature is more energy efficient," Anders said.

He said when the driver brakes, the system will place power into a holding system, which will then be used once the driver accelerates the bus.

CyRide began a biodiesel program in 2006, with 20 percent of their fuel being biodiesel.

The CyRide administration building became the first Gold LEED certified building in the state of Iowa in 2008, which means it is "super efficient," Anders said.

Also in 2008, CyRide implemented a program of green cleaning products and installed energy efficient lighting in its administration building.

Mayor Ann Campbell said CyRide, since its beginning in the 1980s, has always been focused on environmental sustainability.

"Tens of millions of riders have used CyRide, which means tens of millions of people have not been riding in automobiles," Campbell said.

Campbell said the city's goal is to reduce its carbon footprint to 15 percent by 2014.

Government of the Student Body vice president Nate Dobbels went on to say that CyRide greatly helps out students.

"This is a major change for Iowa State and a positive change," Dobbels said.  "[CyRide buses] are utilized by every single student."

The crowd was invited to take a spin in two of the 12 new buses. Passengers noted the Cybrid's noise reduction and "new car smell."

Four Cybrids will be released into the CyRide system Monday.

"We're going to slowly introduce them into the system," Kyras said.

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