Capital Metro Board Approves Nation’s Largest Electric Vehicle Procurement
Transit agency takes major step in fulfilling the Project Connect vision of a cleaner future
AUSTIN, Texas (September 27, 2021) – Today, the CapMetro Board of Directors approved the purchase of 197 new electric buses, the nation's largest electric vehicle procurement to date, which will expand its zero-emissions fleet to more than 200 electric buses.
In less than a year since the historic passage of the Project Connect transit plan, this decision marks a pivotal moment in CapMetro’s goal to transition its entire fleet of more than 400 transit vehicles to zero-emission buses. The new buses, which are being manufactured by Proterra and New Flyer, will replace regular buses and expand the fleet for the new Expo Center and Pleasant Valley MetroRapid lines as outlined in Project Connect.
“Today’s announcement is a major milestone for CapMetro as we strive to provide safe, clean and equitable transportation for our community for generations to come,” said CapMetro President and CEO Randy Clarke. “Public transportation has a bright future in Central Texas as we continue to bring Project Connect to life in the coming years. With this electric bus procurement, we are showing our dedication to a cleaner tomorrow.”
"Using zero-emissions buses adds to the quality of life of the Austin community," said District 3 Council Member Pio Renteria. “Once these buses are in service, they will be used for new bus routes in underserved areas of East Austin. They will also be critical for providing the area's residents convenient access to work, healthcare, educational and recreational opportunities."
The community will benefit from the zero-emissions features of the buses, with annual savings of approximately 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases when compared with diesel. Additional benefits include reduced air pollution, noise level, and heat and fuel costs, all powered by clean electric energy. The new electric vehicles come with state-of-the-art technology and engineering, including USB charging ports, plug-in and overhead charging, open seating floor plan and passenger digital display, just to name a few.
“Proterra is incredibly proud to build on our strong partnership with CapMetro and deliver our newest, fifth-generation electric bus technology to help Austin realize its important goal of 100% zero-emission transportation,” said Josh Ensign, president of Proterra Transit. “Through its embrace of next-generation electric bus technology and charging infrastructure, CapMetro is setting a model for others to follow in the transition to clean, quiet transportation for all.”
“For over 20 years, New Flyer has propelled CapMetro’s expansion of safe, reliable, and accessible mobility in Austin, with 344 buses delivered since 1997,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer. “With our advanced electric buses – offering a lighter weight, longer range, and better energy recovery than ever before – Project Connect is evolving CapMetro’s fleet toward cleaner, quieter, more sustainable mobility, and building a more livable Austin.”
Project Connect aims to bridge initiatives addressing equity, sustainability and innovation by reimagining and implementing a transit program that will include a new rail system, underground stations, electrification of the transit system and more.
The first shipment of new electric vehicles is scheduled to arrive by the end of 2022.
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