Metro is looking to purchase new electric buses to test and evaluate for its zero-transmission fleet, officials said in a release Monday.
The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority has filed a request for proposals to evaluate various buses and “charging technologies” to use in “real-world operating conditions,” which will help inform the purchasing and infrastructure requirements for the zero-emissions fleet. WMATA announced earlier this year that it would transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2045 to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality to combat the ongoing threat of climate change.
“Investing in a zero-emission bus fleet will contribute significant environmental and health benefits to the region by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving regional air quality,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in the release. “Zero-emission buses, including battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses, produce no tailpipe emissions while providing customers with a clean, quiet and more comfortable ride.”
The deadline to submit proposals is Feb. 2, the release states.
Officials said the battery-electric buses being tested will operate in Metro’s Shepherd Parkway Bus Division in an opportunity zone and will include routes throughout the DMV. The zones were created as part of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to provide tax incentives for investment in new businesses and commercial projects in low-income communities, according to the D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
Metro officials will separately purchase chargers and software for the buses and will train a new workforce to operate and maintain the zero-emission fleet, according to the release.
“Metro’s transition of its 1500 buses to 100% zero-emission also will require significant funding and regional coordination, including energy infrastructure investments both by Metro and utilities,” the release states.
This article appeared in the December 23, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.