Oct 7, 2021 - News
Columbus bus system gets electric
Two electric buses are seen Wednesday morning outside of Columbus City Hall. The COTA bus on the right will begin carrying passengers next week.
Two electric buses outside of Columbus City Hall. The COTA bus on the right will begin carrying passengers next week. Photo: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

The first two electric buses in the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) fleet will hit the streets this coming Monday.

Why it matters: The electric bus rollout is part of a long-term goal of COTA and the city of Columbus to cut back on carbon emissions by transitioning to greener energy sources.

  • The new electric buses can hold up to a six-hour charge and cost just shy of $1 million apiece.
  • COTA estimates each bus will save as much as $500,000 in maintenance and fuel costs over a 12-year lifespan.

The big picture: COTA plans to go diesel-free by 2025, relying on compressed natural gas and electricity to power its 321-bus fleet.

  • Eight more electric buses are coming next July.

👋 Tyler here. I hitched a ride yesterday with Councilmember Emmanuel Remy and a few COTA officials for a quick, zero-emissions trip through town. Two thoughts:

  • An electric bus is surprisingly quiet compared to a regular one.
  • There's nothing quite like that new bus smell.
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