Topeka Metro Board approves purchase of six buses: Three diesel, three electric

July 22, 2022
Gillig will supply the diesel buses while Proterra will supply the system's first electric buses.

Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority's (Topeka Metro) Board of Directors approved the purchase of six transit buses, including the agency's first electric buses. 

Three of the buses will have traditional diesel drive systems and will be supplied by Gillig, LLC. The total cost of these three buses will be $1,727,760, of which $1,468,596 will be grant-funded under the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Bus and Bus Facilities Program.

The three electric buses will be supplied by Proterra Operating Company at a cost of $3,506,547, which includes the three vehicles, chargers and warranties. As with the purchase of the diesel buses, a portion of the procurement will be funded by an FTA grant; the funds were awarded through the FTA's Low and No Emissions program.

The acquisition of the three electric buses will mark the beginning of a pilot project that will test the new technology in real operating conditions. The pilot period will consist of a three-year effort of testing various scenarios related to such things as weather, passenger loads and states of battery charge in order to better understand how electric buses could potentially be utilized by Topeka Metro.

Deliver of the six buses is expected to be in within 12-18 months.

The addition of these six new buses will ultimately mark the end for some of Topeka Metro’s oldest buses that have been in service for more than 12 years. Over the next few years, Topeka Metro will be working to transition its current fleet in a new direction as it works to evolve into a more efficient and effective service.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to bring a new type of bus to Topeka, featuring a cleaner and quieter ride that benefits our riders, and broader community,” said Topeka Metro General Manager Bob Nugent. “These new buses will allow us to test innovative technologies and features that can hopefully be expanded upon in the future as we seek to diversify our services.”