There is an expected annual savings of approximately 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases when compared with diesel thanks to the zero-emissions features of the buses. - Photo: Capital Metro

There is an expected annual savings of approximately 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases when compared with diesel thanks to the zero-emissions features of the buses.

Photo: Capital Metro

The Capital Metro board of directors announced it has approved the purchase of 197 new electric buses.

According to CapMetro, this is the nation's largest electric vehicle procurement to date. It will expand its zero-emissions fleet to over 200 electric buses.

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone for CapMetro as we strive to provide safe, clean and equitable transportation for our community for generations to come,” said Randy Clarke, CapMetro president and CEO. “Public transportation has a bright future in Central Texas as we continue to bring Project Connect to life in the coming years. With this electric bus procurement, we are showing our dedication to a cleaner tomorrow.”

The purchase will also help CapMetro’s goal to transition its entire fleet of more than 400 transit vehicles to zero-emission buses. The new buses are being manufactured by Proterra and New Flyer and will replace regular buses. They will also expand the fleet for the new Expo Center and Pleasant Valley MetroRapid lines.

"Using zero-emissions buses adds to the quality of life of the Austin community," said Pio Renteria, District 3 council member. “Once these buses are in service, they will be used for new bus routes in underserved areas of East Austin. They will also be critical for providing the area's residents convenient access to work, healthcare, educational and recreational opportunities."

There is an expected annual savings of approximately 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases when compared with diesel thanks to the zero-emissions features of the buses.

Additional benefits include reduced air pollution, noise level, and heat and fuel costs. The new electric vehicles come USB charging ports, plug-in and overhead charging, open seating floor plan, and passenger digital display.

The first shipment of new electric vehicles is scheduled to arrive by the end of 2022.

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