The Long Beach Transit (LBT) Board of Directors authorized Kenneth McDonald, LBT president/CEO, to enter into a contract with Los Angeles-based company BYD Motors Inc. for the purchase of 10 battery-electric buses and supporting charging systems. The LBT Board approved up to $11,069,319, which also includes training and required equipment in support of the purchase.
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The LBT Staff recommendation was the culmination and conclusion of a competitive bidding process that included the issuing of a detailed Request For Proposals (RFP) on September 23, 2014. BYD Motors’ response to the RFP deemed most responsive and responsible and met the requirements outlined in the request, according to LBT officials.
“The Long Beach Transit Board made a historic decision today that will not only benefit our customers, but will also be a win for our community. Our new battery-electric buses will be zero-emission. This is the cleanest bus we have offered to date, and it’s the leading edge of technology in the industry, said LBT CEO, McDonald. “We are happy to be working with BYD Motors to bring our most eco-friendly transit vehicle option to Long Beach.”
As a major benefit to Long Beach Transit, BYD Motors offered a 12-year warranty on major components of the propulsion system, including the battery. Twelve years is considered the useful life of a public transit bus, and is the minimum time the Federal Transit Administration expects a transit agency to maintain a bus.
LBT plans to operate these initial battery-electric buses on the Passport route in downtown Long Beach starting fall of 2016. Expansion will be considered in the future as the transit agency has an option to purchase 14 more of the buses at a later date with Board approval.