Detroit launches fleet of electric buses
Detroit's first batch of electric buses went into service yesterday.
Why it matters: The electric bus pilot program is part of an effort to transition entirely to an alternative-fuel fleet by 2045.
- A hydrogen-vehicle pilot also is in the works, executive transit director Mikel Oglesby said at a press conference.
Driving the news: The city unveiled four electric buses yesterday, folding them into routes along Woodward Avenue and Mack Avenue. The buses will change routes daily so that officials can measure their performance in different areas.
What they're saying: "Bringing electric buses to the city of Detroit is good for all residents, whether they ride the bus or not," Oglesby said.
Yes, but: The new buses do not directly address the system's reliability issues. The on-time performance rate last month on weekdays was just 63%.
- "This is one piece of a lot of things DDOT's trying to do to improve service. Is it enough? I don't know. They're still like 60 drivers short and still have a problem with buses not showing up when people are expecting them," Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United, tells Axios.
By the numbers: By the numbers: Detroit's Proterra buses, bought with a federal grant, cost about $1 million each. The base price for an electric bus is about $800,000.
- The buses are expected to get 200-300 miles per charge with an average monthly maintenance savings of $2,000 each. Diesel buses get about 200 miles per tank.
💭 Joe's thought bubble: On a short electric bus ride at the launch event, the engine was noticeably quieter than usual. Also absent was the plume of exhaust upon departure.
- Others on board said the ride felt smoother but I couldn't tell a major difference in that department.
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