The first of its kind in Palmyra-Macedon School District’s fleet of buses, the hybrid bus was delivered Tuesday, March 1, into the capable arms of Pat Shaner, bus driver for the past 33 years.

The first of its kind in Palmyra-Macedon School District’s fleet of buses, the hybrid bus was delivered Tuesday, March 1, into the capable arms of Pat Shaner, bus driver for the past 33 years.

“When it was on the way, we nicknamed the bus ‘Baby’,” she laughed.

The kids on her route feel pretty special, she said, and are totally enthused about the new hybrid bus.

“They’ve been looking forward to it for a long time,” she said. “They’re good about keeping it clean and looking nice.”

Shaner was next in line for a new bus and hit the jackpot.

Noise level, she said, is way down, due to the parallel system of diesel engine and hybrid system, and maneuverability is superb.

“It drives like a car,” she said. “With my old bus, I knew I was driving a bus.”

The only draw back is that acceleration is not as quick as the diesel-engine-powered bus, but cruising speed is the same.

As always, Shaner completes a daily record, which includes keeping track of starting and ending mileage and the amount of fuel used.

Estimated savings in fuel with the hybrid system, Jeremy Bricks, transportation safety coordinator said, is 20 to 30 percent.

Shaner, who, 33 years ago, thought the job of driving the same route each day would be boring, takes it all in stride, saying it’s the kids who keep her coming back.

“The kids keep it different,” she said. “It’s never boring. Every day it’s something new.”

She considers driving the hybrid bus a “learning experience.”

“We’re going to enjoy every minute of it,” she said.