A fully electric bus made by California-based Proterra, Inc. will be tested on Friday, June 28, on Palm Tran’s Route 49. Because there is no fare box installed on this vehicle, lucky passengers on this particular bus will ride free. Palm Tran staff will also be riding the bus to survey riders on their impressions. Additionally, riders are encouraged to share their opinions on Palm Tran’s social media pages.
This is the second electric bus evaluation by Palm Tran. Earlier this month, a bus manufactured by Build Your Dreams was put into service as a test. The demonstrations are no guarantee of the manufacturers receiving future county business. Two more companies are expected to bring vehicles to Palm Beach County for demonstrations in the next few months.
Palm Tran is actively pursuing grant funding for electric buses. In April, Palm Tran broke ground on the South County Facility Expansion in Delray Beach. This expansion project will not install charging stations, but rather the initial infrastructure to charge nine electric buses. The project is slated for completion in 2020.
Electric buses provide many benefits over traditional diesel buses. These include: no emissions, a quieter motor and potentially reduced maintenance costs since electric buses do not require oil changes.
For more information on Palm Tran go to: http://www.palmtran.org