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CapMetro approves purchase of nearly 200 new electric buses

The transit agency said the move was a major step toward Project Connect’s green energy goals.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Monday, Capital Metro’s board approved the purchase of 197 new electric buses to expand its fleet to more than 200 electric buses.

The transit agency said the move was a major step toward Project Connect’s green energy goals. Project Connect aims to transition CapMetro’s entire fleet of more than 400 transit vehicles to zero-emission buses.

The new buses, manufactured by Proterra and New Flyer, will replace current diesel-powered buses and expand the fleet for the new Expo Center and Pleasant Valley MetroRapid lines, as outlined in Project Connect, CapMetro said.

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone for CapMetro as we strive to provide safe, clean and equitable transportation for our community for generations to come,” said CapMetro President and CEO Randy Clarke. “Public transportation has a bright future in Central Texas as we continue to bring Project Connect to life in the coming years. With this electric bus procurement, we are showing our dedication to a cleaner tomorrow.”

CapMetro estimates the buses will save around 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases per year when compared with diesel. They will help reduce air pollution, noise level and heat and fuel costs, the transit agency said.

The electric buses include USB charging ports, plug-in and overhead charging, open seating floor plans and a passenger digital display.

Credit: CapMetro

"Using zero-emissions buses adds to the quality of life of the Austin community," said District 3 Councilmember Pio Renteria. “Once these buses are in service, they will be used for new bus routes in underserved areas of East Austin. They will also be critical for providing the area's residents convenient access to work, health care, educational and recreational opportunities." 

The first shipment of new electric vehicles is set to arrive by the end of 2022.

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