You might have spotted New Flyer's Electric Bus around Madison and through the UW campus this week! They stopped by to demonstrate their electric bus to Metro Transit staff. A few members of other City agencies were lucky enough to go along for a ride. Staff noted that they were remarkably quiet even with the heat running! Plus they have zero emissions and a 15-year expected vehicle life.
As you can see, they have a similar look to the busses we use today on the inside.
As part of its continuing efforts to utilize green technology, Metro Transit is looking to implement alternative fuel vehicles, like this one, in the future. Fortunately, prices on these vehicles seem to be coming down to a price that might be workable, which is $700,000 to $800,000 per bus.
There are two types of methods to power an electric bus. A longer method is that it could power up in the garage overnight. Shorter methods of recharging/refueling entail charging stations at transfer points and other layover points during the course of the day. Metro is in the process of designing a future satellite bus facility to accommodate alternative fuel-type buses. So, there are still some technological things to be worked out for this type of bus to be implemented in Madison.
Metro staff and I are excited about the possibilities of alternatively powered vehicles and hope to bring them to Madison in the next 5 to 10 years.