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

Stagecoach to deliver contactless bus travel across UK by end of 2018

The $15 million initiative will allow passengers to pay for their travel with a contactless credit or debit card, as well as Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Alexander Dennis' Enviro500 concept bus on display in Singapore

The full low-floor, three-door, two-staircase double-deck bus is being shown at the LTA-UITP Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition in Suntec City.

ETA adds Intelligent Transit System to Grand Valley

The new ITS provides Grand Valley with ETA's real-time arrival predictions, fare collection system integration, automatic on-board announcements, and the tools to track and chart system improvements over time.

Proterra names Honeywell, Tesla vet to COO post

Josh Ensign’s track record includes leading global operations for 42 factories in 15 countries and managing the supporting supply chains. 

Nova announces 2 major orders for San Antonio VIA, Houston Metro

The buses will be manufactured in Plattsburgh, state of New York, and the delivery of the vehicles has already begun in Houston.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close