New Flyer electric bus
A New Flyer electric bus. Courtesy MTX

The Metropolitan Transit System‘s board on Thursday unanimously approved the $6 million purchase of six 40-foot electric buses and nine depot chargers

The new buses, made by the Canadian company New Flyer, are expected to arrive in mid-summer 2019.

“This is a major milestone for MTS,” said Georgette Gómez, a San Diego City Councilmember and chair of the MTS board. “These buses will serve as the benchmark of MTS’ zero-emissions bus pilot program and continue moving the agency toward operating the cleanest possible bus fleet.”

In October 2017, the MTS Board directed staff to implement a zero-emission bus pilot program. As part of the pilot, MTS will test zero-emissions buses on existing routes throughout San Diego for a period of two years.

The pilot program will allow MTS analyze vehicle performance, challenges and capabilities. Staff will analyze characteristics such as in-route vs. depot charging, the affect of climate, different passenger loads, operator performance and battery capacity.

The new electric buses will have a maximum range of 150 to 200 miles and come with air-conditioning and other modern amenities.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.