Asheville’s five all-new electric buses roll out onto routes this week! After thorough testing and training, the City received delivery of the final two buses in May. Starting June 1, ART transit will incorporate the buses into these three routes:
- S3, which runs a round trip from the Transit Station downtown to Ashland and McDowell avenues, on to Hendersonville Road all the way to the Asheville Airport.
- S6, which runs a round trip from the Transit Station downtown to Ashland and McDowell avenues, on to Hendersonville Road making its way to Biltmore Park Town Square.
- 170, which runs down Tunnel Road, making its way to Swannanoa and Black Mountain and back.
Incorporating these buses powered on electricity will help the City reduce fuel costs and dependence on imported energy resources. It also aligns with the City’s carbon-reduction goals. The estimated impact is an approximate reduction of 54 tons of emission per year per bus, which adds up to a total of 270 tons of emissions per year once all five ART buses are deployed.
The purchase of the electric buses was primarily made possible through Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant funding. In September 2017, the City’s Transportation Department won a highly-competitive grant to purchase zero-emission buses through the FTA’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program. The City of Asheville was selected as the only award recipient in North Carolina and was granted $633,333. This grant, combined with others intended for transit capital purchases, allowed the City to purchase the five zero-emission, battery-electric buses from Proterra in Greenville, S.C.
The electric buses will be joined by two diesel buses scheduled to be added to the ART fleet by the end of the year. City staff are also working on additional hybrid bus purchases in the coming months.
“The electric buses are part of our transit strategy,” said Assistant Transportation Director Jessica Morriss. “We are deploying various bus technologies, always with an eye on reliability and lessening the City’s carbon footprint.”
The City of Asheville is working to promote sustainability and reduction of our carbon footprint as a city and as a community. The City has accomplished a 31% reduction in its municipal carbon footprint since 2008.
Asheville Redefines Transit provides bus service throughout Asheville and to Black Mountain from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays/holidays. The ART Station is at 49 Coxe Ave. For more information, visit RideTheArt.com.