TriMet begins process to purchase electric buses for launch in 2018

Image: TriMet

TriMet is purchasing all-electric buses with battery packs and electric motors instead of fuel tanks and combustion engines to begin serving passengers in 2018.

TriMet received a $3.4 million federal grant from the Federal Transit Administration Low and No Emission Vehicle Deployment program and is partnering with Portland General Electric to purchase and maintain five electric buses.

The buses will have the fuel efficiency equivalent of 24 miles per gallon, which TriMet reports will reduce fueling costs by as much as 80 percent over regular diesel and hybrid buses.

TriMet reports the technology has advanced greatly since the agency first put two diesel-electric hybrids on the road back in 2002 and eight hybrids into service between 2012 and 2015.

The new buses are expected to provide cleaner air, quieter rides, reduced fuel costs and reduced maintenance costs, including no oil changes.

The bus purchasing and manufacturing process is underway and testing and training with the new buses is scheduled to start in July 2018 before officially launching in the fall of 2018.

The first all-electric TriMet buses will be on bus route 62 between the Washington Square Transit Center and Sunset Transit Center.

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