Bus

FTA awards Seattle transit $4.7M for electric bus

Posted on November 2, 2010

Last week, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that it will award King County Metro Transit (Metro) $4.7 million to purchase a prototype electric bus that runs on battery power.

 

Unlike Metro’s current fleet of electric trolley buses, these light-weight vehicles have the ability to operate without being connected to a fixed overhead wire. They can power up at a free-standing charging station and then travel up to 15 miles one way from the station. Metro will also explore if the prototype bus can connect to existing trolley wires for a "fast charge" when needed.

 

“This next generation electric coach combines the benefits of a clean, quiet trolley with the mobility of a standard bus,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in thanking the FTA for the award. “If the prototype can work well here in King County, battery-powered buses could become an excellent candidate for replacement of aging Metro buses and trolleys. Not only would they cut diesel fuel costs, but they would also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

Constantine said this grant marks another major investment in King County’s overall transportation system by the federal government. Earlier this month, the King County Department of Transportation received $34 million in federal money to top off funding needed to replace the South Park Bridge over the Duwamish River.

 

Metro’s prototype battery-dominant electric bus should be delivered in late 2012. The agency plans to buy one or two vehicles plus one or two charging stations to test their suitability for the transit system.

 

In addition to the battery bus demonstration, Metro is in the process of conducting a study to evaluate hybrid and trolley buses as replacements for the existing trolley fleet, which is reaching the end of its useful life. The study is examining several factors in choosing the vehicles to replace the trolleys, including cost; network and system considerations; environmental impacts; funding opportunities and legal issues. The study findings will help the county make an informed decision about the best technology to use on these routes as the current trolley buses wear out.

 

The trolley replacement study started last summer and does not include battery-dominant buses as an option because they are not yet available for a large-scale purchase nor tested on a system in the U.S. like Metro’s. At this time, the technology is not ready to replace heavy-duty transit vehicles, but is advancing rapidly.

 

The agency is also involved in projects to promote the private use of electric vehicles.

 

In addition to this grant, the FTA also awarded Metro and Sound Transit $6 million to purchase 40-foot and 60-foot hybrid diesel-electric buses to replace conventional diesel buses that have reached the end of their useful lives.

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Albuquerque BRT project exploring full sponsorship

ABQ RIDE is looking to model its plan after the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s HealthLine, which is sponsored through a hospital partnership. Construction on the so-called ART system could begin in May 2016 with an in-service date of September 2017.

New luxury bus service launches in San Francisco

The service, which costs $6 a ride, asks riders to download the Leap app, creating an account, uploading a photo and adding a credit card that enables them to pay via a QR code.

4ONE wins multiple bus seating orders

Agencies ordering the company's products, which are now in at least half of all new U.S. and Canadian transit buses, include L.A. Metro, Chicago Transit Authority and New York City Transit.

New Flyer awarded big Las Vegas CNG bus contract

The contract includes a firm order for 35 XN40 and 20 XN60 Xcelsior buses, with an option for another 150 XN40 and 100 XN60 over the next five years. All buses are to be powered by CNG.

Pierce Transit taps Apollo for video surveillance

The decision comes after the agency conducted an analysis and product review period. Implementation of the project began in February and all work is expected to be completed by the end of April.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close