The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to serve a community where several local organizations are playing a crucial role in helping to provide options for area residents to take action to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the region. One that’s really proving to be a champion for clean air is Metro Transit – the St. Louis metropolitan region’s primary public transportation system – which recently launched one of the largest initial electric bus fleet deployments in the nation.
With a shared commitment to enhance the sustainability of the bi-state St. Louis region, representatives from Bi-State Development, Metro Transit and several partners and regional stakeholders recently gathered for the official launch of the first 18 electric battery-powered buses into service on the MetroBus system, which covers an area of about 550 square miles. The deployment was made possible by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Metro’s collaboration with the Center for Transportation and the Environment, Ameren Missouri, GILLIG, New Flyer and Metro’s key transit partners – the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County in Missouri and St. Clair County in Illinois. Another six new buses will join the MetroBus battery electric fleet by the end of this year to provide additional economically and environmentally sustainable mobility options, further enhancing the overall transit experience for Metro riders.
The (14) 60-foot battery electric buses manufactured by New Flyer America will operate exclusively on the #70 Grand route, which is Metro’s busiest route and carries about 10 percent of its passengers on a daily basis. The (4) 40-foot buses made by GILLIG will provide service on a variety of MetroBus routes in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County.
Not only do electric buses provide financial advantages by reducing fuel and maintenance costs, but they also deliver numerous environmental benefits to the communities they serve. Altogether, Metro Transit estimates the new electric buses will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 to 160 tons per year. Eliminating diesel exhaust emissions, particle pollution and other harmful pollutants that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and ultimately make it harder for individuals to breathe is an important investment for long-term lung health in the St. Louis region and a great step in the right direction for cleaner air!
The 60-foot battery electric buses will be charged while in service at the North Broadway-Taylor Transit Center in St. Louis, located at the northernmost end of the #70 Grand MetroBus route, and all buses will be charged every night at the Brentwood MetroBus facility in Brentwood. Ameren Missouri built a new substation next to the Brentwood MetroBus facility to serve the growing electric needs of Metro Transit and the surrounding communities. The $11.3 million investment upgrades the power supply to triple capacity and modernizes the energy system for the area.
For more information about Metro Transit’s journey to zero-emission mobility and its Electric Bus program, visit www.metrostlouis.org/electric-buses. To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.