Green Mountain Transit welcomes five additional electric buses to fleet

June 20, 2024
The five New Flyer electric buses will replace diesel buses in the fleet to work to reduce carbon emissions in the state of Vermont.

The addition of five new electric-powered buses to the Green Mountain Transit (GMT) fleet was celebrated by the agency and the Burlington Electric Department (BED), along with Burlington Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak and federal, state and local leaders.

The new E-buses, supported by BED incentives, began carrying passengers in May. The new E-buses bring to seven the total in the GMT fleet (the first two having gone into service in winter 2020) and will help reduce carbon emissions in Burlington and Chittenden County, Vt., while providing cleaner, quieter transit along GMT service area routes. As part of the Burlington Net Zero Energy strategy, BED provided significant incentives and, together with the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), helped secure further funding from the federal government to ensure that GMT had the resources necessary to expand electric transit options in Burlington.

“Adding five more electric buses to the GMT fleet marks another significant step in Burlington’s efforts to fight climate change and make progress toward our community’s Net Zero Energy goals,” said Mayor of Burlington Mulvaney-Stanak. “These buses will help us decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, cut carbon emissions and improve air quality in our city. I look forward to working with our partners to continue the electrification of the GMT fleet that serves Burlington and neighboring communities.”

“Our new electric battery buses and the ones that will follow are possible only because of a broad coalition of local, state and federal partners,” said Clayton Clark, GMT general manager. “What I find even more impressive than the buses themselves are the people putting them in service. Transitioning from diesel to electric buses has required ingenuity and hard work, especially for our mechanics who are learning to maintain and repair a totally different drive system. Burlington Electric Department has been critical in helping our team solve the challenges of deploying this new technology.”

“Burlington Electric Department is excited to provide electrification incentives to help more than triple the number of electric transit buses in the GMT fleet, which will lead to a reduction in transportation greenhouse gas emissions as part of our Net Zero Energy strategy,” said Darren Springer, BED general manager. “These buses will be based in Burlington, charging with 100 percent renewable energy while helping our community more efficiently utilize our electric grid and keep rates affordable by charging during off-peak hours. By using BED’s renewable electricity to charge the buses, instead of diesel imported from out-of-state, we also will keep more dollars in the local economy."

The five new, 40-foot E-buses were engineered and manufactured by New Flyer Industries in Anniston, Ala. The GMT buses being replaced by the new E-buses had been travelling approximately 25,000 to 30,000 miles annually at 4.83 miles per gallon, translating to approximately 5,288 gallons of diesel per year. When the number of mmBTUs (0.1374) per gallon and the pounds of CO2 (161.3) per mmBTU are applied to 5,288 gallons, the result is the avoidance of approximately 59 tons of CO2 emissions per E-bus per year.

GMT says the E-buses have 520 kWh of available battery capacity and generally will be charged overnight during off-peak hours with 100 percent renewably sourced electricity at GMT’s Burlington garage on Queen City Park Road. While New Flyer indicates the E-buses have an operating range of up to 258 miles on a single charge, actual range will depend on several variables, including topography, passenger loads, number of stops and weather.

Funding collaboration

Funding for the five E-buses, which together cost $8.1 million, including the charging equipment and planned GMT facility work, was a collaboration provided by the following partners: 

  • $275,000 – BED
  • $6.7 million – Federal government Low/No Emissions Grant
  • $1.1 million – GMT, along with federal and state transportation funding