The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) will build its first all-electric bus garage, with infrastructure and equipment needed to run 100% electric vehicles, at the Northern Bus Garage in Northwest Washington, D.C. Construction of the operations and maintenance facility is expected to take four years once all approvals are received and will open with a mix of the current Metrobus fleet and new battery-electric vehicles, transitioning to 100% electric as Metrobus’ electric bus fleet expands.
“This is an important step forward in Metro’s commitment to help our region reduce its environmental footprint, improve public health, and modernize our facilities,” said Metro GM Paul J. Wiedefeld. “We appreciate the Board’s leadership in contributing to the clean air targets shared by Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.”
In June, WMATA’s board adopted a goal of a 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2045, with a full transition to battery-electric or other zero-emission bus purchases by 2030. A zero-emission bus fleet will improve regional air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide customers with a quieter, more comfortable ride. This phased conversion of the 1,500-vehicle Metrobus fleet will allow WMATA to purchase vehicles as zero-emission technologies continue to improve to ensure consistent service reliability. It will also enable the agency and its regional partners to make needed investments in facilities, electric utility infrastructure, and workforce training to support the fleet transition.
WMATA’s new Director of Zero-Emission Vehicles, Amy Mesrobian, is leading the agency's Electric Bus Test and Evaluation Program, which includes the procurement of approximately 12 electric buses. The Test and Evaluation Program will provide data and experience with electric bus performance in typical Metrobus operating conditions. The results of the Test and Evaluation will inform future acquisition of electric buses as well as the facility improvements and charging equipment needed to operate the electric buses.