Gainesville, Fla. – The City of Gainesville unveiled three new battery-electric buses to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony March 18 with community leaders and neighbors.
The zero-emission additions to the Regional Transit System fleet are 40 feet in length and each can accommodate up to 38 seated passengers. Traveling an estimated 150-200 miles per charge, the buses will be connected each evening to a ChargePoint charging station at RTS Headquarters. Each bus is powered by an electric drivetrain and 6 onboard batteries.
“Integrating the battery-electric buses into the City’s current fleet of alternative fuel vehicles advances our efforts toward building a sustainable community,” said Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe. “We are dedicated to increasing the active use of renewable resources in our community and reducing RTS greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
After a brief inaugural ride for ceremony attendees, one of the battery-powered buses was added to RTS Route 46 that operates from the Rosa Parks Transfer Station to the University of Florida’s J. Wayne Reitz Union.
“We join the City Commission in celebrating the Gainesville début of three new electric buses for our community,” said Curtis A. Reynolds, Vice President Business Affairs at UF. “These vehicles demonstrate the City’s strong commitment to sustainable transportation and reducing our carbon footprint, goals enthusiastically shared by the University of Florida,” he said.
The City’s second electric bus also will be added to RTS Route 46 in the next few weeks, and the third is expect to join the RTS service rotation this fall.
“I am delighted to see the Blount Center downtown and the Northwest Campus serviced by the new electric buses,” said Naima Brown, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Affairs at Santa Fe College. “I hope our students, our staff and our larger community will be inspired to find sustainable solutions to the environmental, social, and economic challenges that we currently face,” she said.
The electric-battery buses are built by GILLIG of Livermore, CA. in collaboration with Cummins of Columbus, IN, manufacturer of the electric batteries. The City is the first municipality in Florida with a GILLIG battery-electric bus serving area passengers on an established route.
“This initiative reflects FDOT’s work to enhance mobility and inspire innovation. We and Gainesville RTS continue to work together to plan and fund a comprehensive and flexible mobility system in Gainesville,” said Florida Department of Transportation District 2 Secretary Greg Evans.
The new battery-electric buses were purchased with $3.2M in funding through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Low or No-Emission Vehicle (Low-No) Grant Program. #RTSgreenmachine is the official hashtag of the event.
For additional information, contact City of Gainesville Public Information Officer Rossana Passaniti at 352-393-7842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.