On Wednesday, Oct. 17 Pierce Transit will introduce the South Sound community to the area’s first all-electric buses. The three new vehicles, obtained with a $2.55 million federal “Low or No Emissions” grant, will run first on Pierce Transit routes 11 and 41.
To celebrate the occasion, and in coordination with Wheel Options Month, rides on all Pierce Transit buses and routes will be free Oct. 17, both for new and existing riders.
“Electric buses are clean, quiet and good for the environment,” said Pierce Transit CEO Sue Dreier. “Bringing them on board is the agency’s next step in providing the public with an enjoyable transportation experience.”
Pierce Transit has long been a national leader in providing environmentally-friendly public transportation. In the 1980s, the transit agency was one of the first in the nation to begin running most of its fleet on clean, compressed natural gas (CNG). The agency has a few remaining diesel vehicles, and the new electric buses will replace three of them.
The goals of purchasing electric buses include diversifying the fleet in the event of a service disruption related to another bus type, and retaining the agency’s commitment to sustainability. Pierce Transit has already applied for funding for additional electric buses and plans to replace diesel buses as they are purchased.
Funding for the three buses rolling out Oct. 17 were obtained with letters of support from U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, U.S. Reps. Derek Kilmer, Denny Heck, Adam Smith and Dave Reichert, Gov. Jay Inslee, and many local groups and organizations.
New transit riders taking advantage of free rides Oct. 17 should visit piercetransit.org/pierce-transit-routes to access route maps and information. They may also call Pierce Transit’s Customer Services office at 253-581-8000 (option 1) Monday through Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. for help planning their trip.