Electric bus fleet, at 14 at $1.072M each, coming to Rhode Island

(The Center Square) – A new electric bus fleet will be available to public transit riders in Rhode Island.

Fourteen New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE NG buses will be delivered over the next couple of months and replace diesel-fueled buses that are in use on the R-Line, the route with the highest ridership. The buses are battery-electric powered, Gov. Dan McKee said. The R-Line connects Providence and Pawtucket.

Each bus, according to the release, carries a price tag of $1.072 million. Funding is from the Federal Transit Administration, Volkswagen settlement dollars, and Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.

“As a leader in clean, renewable energy, Rhode Island has the momentum to create a more sustainable future and our administration is committed to advancing that goal,” McKee said in the release. “Ensuring clean air, zero-emission sustainable energy, and easier access to public transportation is a priority.”

According to the release, the electric bus line is anticipated to lower emissions in the region where air pollution has affected low-income and diverse neighborhoods. The buses, bright green in color, will be fitted with 320 kWH batteries.

The 40-foot electric buses, according to information from the Environmental Protection Agency, can prevent up to 135 metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted each year when compared to a diesel-fueled bus.

According to the release, the fleet will benefit from a high-powered charging infrastructure, which will be situated on Broad Street at the Cranston/Providence city line. There will be four overhead pantograph chargers at the site, permitting frequent recharging without human involvement.

The buses will roll into the charging station and the overhead device will lower to connect with bars placed on the bus’s roof to charge, according to the release. The buses will charge for five to nine minutes before going back into service.

“The arrival of these New Flyer electric buses demonstrates RIPTA’s commitment to mitigating climate change and contributing to a zero-emission future,” Scott Avedisian, RIPTA chief executive officer, said in the release. “These electric buses are yet another example of how public transportation can help achieve cleaner air quality. We already know that using public transportation as opposed to single occupancy vehicles is beneficial to our environment. Switching to electric buses only furthers the benefits of using public transportation.”

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