City News

City hopes buses can go green through new grant

Madison will accept a $1.3 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to allow Metro Transit to implement the use of three battery-electric buses.

Image By: Morgan Winston

Whether the 80, the 22, the 44 or some route in between, chances are most UW-Madison students have utilized a public bus. Now, the city is hoping to make those buses more sustainable through a new metro transit grant.

Hoping to show its commitment to sustainability and using environmentally friendly practices, the City of Madison will accept a $1.3 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to allow Metro Transit to implement the use of three battery-electric buses, according to a city press release.

“Metro has always been firmly committed to finding new and different ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” Metro Transit General Manager Chuck Kamp said in the release.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin called electric buses a vital step in making the city more sustainable, the release said. Through the grant, the city is taking a first step to reaching Soglin’s goal of having half of Madison’s buses zero-emission by 2035.

The city said the Proterra Catalyst buses are not only a green option, but also cost a fraction of other bus options’ price in gas. They can operate up to 350 miles on a single charge, at only $0.16 per mile.

In total, each battery-electric bus will amount to $667,000. In addition to the $1.3 million grant, Metro will also contribute $1.5 million to the project.

In the release, Metro Transit thanked Madison Gas and Electric and the Center for Transportation and the Environment for their assistance to the project and making the zero-emission buses possible for the city.

The electric buses are expected to be on the Madison streets September 2019.

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