Wichita Transit unveils first battery-electric zero-emission buses in Kansas

December 12, 2019 - 2:12 pm
City bus

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Wichita Transit on Thursday unveiled the first battery-electric zero-emission buses in Kansas at a press conference. The four new buses will begin operating on routes early next year and will replace several diesel buses.

The city scored a nearly $2 million federal grant to purchase the buses from ProTerra. Wichita Transit estimates each electric bus will last 12 years and save the city $462,000 in that time compared to its diesel counterparts. The buses will charge overnight and should have enough power to run 150 miles by morning. Officials hope the buses will attract new riders.

After the conference, those in attendance received a 15-minute ride on one of the buses.

Wichita Transit will transition into even more electric buses in the future.

Right now, transit operates 18 fixed bus routes six days a week. In 2018, Wichita served more than 1.4 million riders. Services include traditional fixed routes, a newly expanded downtown trolley service, and a demand-response paratransit service. Complete route and schedule information are available at wichitatransit.org. The city hopes to create an app to show riders which routes the new buses will be traveling on.

In addition to the buses, the city received a $14.2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to build a replacement transit center to meet current and future regional transportation needs.

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