GTA Receives $1.9 Million Grant to Buy Battery-Electric Buses
Bolstering Greensboro Transit Authority’s (GTA) ongoing sustainability efforts, the City of Greensboro has been awarded a federal grant of $1.9 million for the purchase of new battery-electric buses.
The Federal Transit Administration’s 2018 Low or No Emission (Low-No) Program Grant will help Greensboro replace diesel buses in the GTA fleet that have exceeded their life expectancy. The funding will allow GTA to buy three more 40-foot, battery-electric buses in addition to the 10 buses currently on order from Proterra, a Greeneville, SC-based manufacturer.
“GTA’s move towards battery-electric buses will offer significant benefits to riders and the Greensboro community through a much quieter bus with no diesel exhaust. The electric motor and transmission have fewer moving parts and it is estimated that each electric bus will save GTA $350,000 in reduced fuel and maintenance costs over the 12-year, 500,000-mile useful life of the vehicle. The switch to electric buses will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 687,500 pounds per year,” said Mayor Nancy Vaughan.
Battery-electric buses have become the alternative-fuel vehicles of choice with leading transit systems around the country. An electric motor provides propulsion of the bus with power drawn from an array of onboard batteries. These batteries also provide power for climate control and on-board amenities such as announcement systems and passenger USB charging ports. The buses offer a range up to 251 miles through an overnight charging system, or the buses can receive a quick and simple recharge at the Depot for extended service range.
GTA will start receiving the first electric buses in November 2018, making Greensboro the first transit agency in North Carolina with all electric buses. The three buses acquired with the Low-No grant will arrive by the end of 2019, which will bring the total to 13 electric buses or 28 percent of the GTA fleet. That will be one of the largest battery-electric fleets in the southeast United States. For more information about the Low-No program, visit this website.
“We are grateful to FTA and our congressional delegation’s support for the Low-No grant and we look forward to future competitive grant opportunities. We are also grateful to the support that we have received from the GTA Board and the leadership of our Mayor and City Council to pursue the transition to all electric bus fleet,” said Adam Fischer, director of the City's Transportation Department.
“As the first city to bring battery-electric transit to the state of North Carolina, Greensboro has proven to be a transit leader, so it is fitting that with this most recent Low-No grant they will now be home to one of the largest electric bus fleets in the southeast," said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. "We’re proud to support transit agencies striving to create healthy communities through the procurement of battery-electric buses.”