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Cap Metro receives electric bus grant

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

As part of its long-term Project Connect vision, Capital Metro approved a plan earlier this year to allocate over $4 million to begin the long process of electrifying its bus fleet. Those four electric buses are still yet to hit the streets, but the agency announced this week that a $2.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration will allow for the purchase of up to six additional vehicles in the near future. The grant won’t cover the entire cost of the vehicles; at $1,069,476 per bus, the agency will need $6,416,856 for the six buses alone. On top of that, the costs of charging equipment, spare parts, and training to operate and maintain the new vehicles will be substantial. Even so, CEO Randy Clarke, with the support of the board of directors, has expressed his confidence that the city is ready to begin the transition into electric public transit and that the significant investment in vehicles and infrastructure will pay off in the years to come. In the short term, Capital Metro expects at least two of the fancy new electric buses to be in the city by the end of the year. What’s more, judging by a couple of tweets from Clarke this week, those buses may be “articulated,” like many of the MetroRapid vehicles, stretching out to 60 feet in length.

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