September could bring two new additions to GoTriangle's bus fleet following the Board of Trustees approval of a contract for two electric buses.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to make the service we provide even better by introducing more environmentally friendly electric bus technology into the GoTriangle fleet,” says Jeff Mann, president and CEO of GoTriangle. “Numerous residents have asked us to look into buying alternative-fuel buses as our transit network continues to grow, and this vote allows us to be responsive to that desire.”
The buses will be supplied by Proterra, which will manufacture the two 40-foot electric buses at its South Carolina facility and deliver the vehicles as early as September.
GoTriangle notes that electric buses can carry an initial cost that comes in between $300,000 to $450,000 more than a diesel bus when charging stations and other equipment are included, but operating costs over their lifespans are $250,000 to $400,000 less than a diesel bus and electric buses produce no tailpipe emissions.
The purchase costs of the two buses will be offset by a $943,000 grant awarded to GoTriangle this summer through the federal government’s Low- or No-Emission Grant program. The federal Low or No Emission Competitive Grant Program provides money so state and local governmental authorities can buy or lease zero-emission and low-emission transit buses. The money also can go toward acquiring, building or leasing supporting facilities.