In late 2015, Pierce Transit received a $2.55 million federal “Low-No” grant that allowed the agency to purchase three electric buses and related infrastructure. Those buses are now built and being prepared to run on routes around Pierce County starting in mid-October.
On Sept. 11, the agency will hold an event for local leaders and transit advocates to unveil the new bus design and explain its features and the agency’s plans to continue building its electric fleet at 11 a.m. at Pierce Transit Building 5 Training Center, 3720 96th St. SW.
Pierce Transit has long been a leader in providing clean, environmentally-friendly public transportation. In the 1980s the agency was among the first in the nation to move most of its fleet to running on clean, compressed natural gas. Today 76 percent of Pierce Transit’s bus fleet runs on natural gas, 13 percent are diesel-electric hybrids, 8 percent are diesels and 3 percent run on gas.
The goals of introducing electric buses into Pierce Transit’s fleet are to build on the agency’s commitment to sustainability, and to diversity the fleet in the event of a service disruption related to another bus type. Benefits of all-electric buses include:
- Zero emissions
- Each electric bus replaces an aging diesel bus
- Meets “Buy America” standards
- Thirty percent fewer parts
- Lower maintenance costs