Saturday, February 20, 2016
|Executive Constantine unveils a Proterra all-electric bus, |
one of three that Metro Transit will be testing this year on Eastside routes
Photo courtesy King County
King County Executive Dow Constantine recently launched Metro Transit's first all-electric battery-powered bus in Bellevue, adding to what is already one of the greenest fleets in the United States.
The battery bus is the first of three that Metro will test this year. Executive Constantine set a goal for Metro to increase transit service through 2020 with no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Metro will test the performance and efficiency of the new technology for up to a year on local streets and roads to determine whether battery-electric buses can be a future replacement option for its remaining diesel-powered coaches.
The three battery buses were paid for in part with a $4.7 million federal grant. Metro is pursuing $3.3 million in additional grants to buy six more battery buses and a second charging station, which would enable Metro to completely convert the two Eastside bus routes to 100 percent electricity.
Transportation is the region's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, emitting nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is why the Executive's Strategic Climate Action Plan calls for a doubling of transit use by 2040.
With the three new battery buses, nearly 70 percent of Metro's fleet is now comprised of either all-electric or hybrid-electric vehicles.