VIA Metropolitan Transit has begun to roll out its new ARC electric buses on four routes (two pairs) as part of its continuous commitment to cleaner, greener transit options for San Antonio, Texas.
Passengers on Route 2 Blanco Frequent (paired with Route 34 South St. Mary’s Frequent) and Route 14 Perrin Beitel Skip (paired with Route 44 Pleasanton) will be the first to experience riding the state-of-art 40-foot buses, that feature zero tailpipe emissions and numerous amenities.
VIA’s ARC electric buses feature an approximate range of 150 miles per charge, seating for up to 38 passengers, ambient lighting to reduce glare and USB charging ports at every seat.
VIA procured a total of eight electric buses from California-based manufacturer Gillig, with assistance of a federal grant award and received delivery in December 2022. The eight ARC buses will be rotated on the two current route pairs, and data collected from vehicle performance will be analyzed to determine future routes and maximize utilization.
The addition of the ARC buses – named for the electric discharge with highest current density across a gap in a circuit – expands VIA’s sustainable vehicle profile that includes nearly 500 buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) at one of North America’s largest CNG fueling stations, run by VIA.
“The addition of new all-electric buses keeps VIA moving in the right direction with green technologies that are advancing to a point that makes them practical as well as sustainable,” said VIA President and CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “VIA’s CNG fleet conversion delivered up to a 97 percent reduction of harmful emissions from the vehicles they replaced and put us on the road to a cleaner, greener future.”
Part of the electric bus project included the construction of a charging area for the eight new buses. Earlier this year, a covered 12-bay docking area was completed and currently houses four charging stations that are capable of charging two buses each.