Talks Business
November 2020

Metro Transit prepares for electric buses

While most electric heavy-duty trucks won't hit the market this year, there’s one vehicle category where all-electric is already relatively commonplace: buses.

Madison’s Metro Transit recently installed three charging stations at the bus garage for new all-electric buses.

Madison’s Metro Transit recently installed three charging stations at the bus garage for new all-electric buses.

The City of Madison and Metro Transit (Metro) will introduce three all-electric buses. A $1.3 million Federal Transit Administration Low- or No-Emission grant made the Proterra buses and charging stations possible. MGE provided 100% of the required local matching funds for charging infrastructure and will continue to offer support and expertise to address technological issues and facilitate efficient, cost-effective energy use. 

The City has had hybrid-electric buses since 2007—Metro was the first transit system in Wisconsin to introduce them. The new zero-emission, all-electric buses will help the City achieve its goal of 100% renewable energy and zero net carbon for City operations by 2030.  

Transportation is the top contributor to greenhouse gases—both in Madison and nationwide. City of Madison fleet operations and Metro buses together account for roughly one-third of the City’s carbon emissions. Metro also accounts for about 50% of the City’s fuel consumption, making all-electric buses an attractive way to be more sustainable and create benefits for the broader community.  

Fuel and maintenance savings 

Metro general manager Justin Stuehrenberg, who was involved in a significant EV bus rollout in Indianapolis, anticipates a roughly 50% reduction in fuel costs and a 15% reduction in maintenance costs for the new all-electric buses.  

Lower emissions, less noise  

Two of the biggest benefits from a rider's perspective are a "whisper quiet" trip and smooth braking and acceleration. And zero-emission buses will contribute to better Madison air quality over time. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, zero-emission buses reduce nearly 1,700 tons of emissions over their estimated 12-year life span, which means these three buses will eliminate roughly 5,100 tons of emissions. 

"Adding EVs to the Madison Metro fleet is the right thing to do," stressed Stuehrenberg. "This will benefit drivers, riders and the community overall. We're excited to bring them to Madison and appreciate the help we've gotten from MGE to make this possible."  

Want to learn more about adding EVs to your fleet? Visit today.