HOUSTON – Last week The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County announced a goal to transition their entire public transit fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2030. Now Metro is planning to add 20 new zero-emission electric buses and 10 electric cutaway shuttles to their fleet starting in spring of next year.
The majority of transit buses in Texas still run on diesel, a fossil fuel that increases global warming emissions and has been linked to several serious health risks, including increased rates of respiratory illness and cancer. Electric buses are more affordable than fossil fuel-powered buses in the long run, saving transit agencies hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating and maintenance costs.
“The air quality in Houston is among the worst in the nation and the city is falling behind when it comes to cleaning up its transportation system. Replacing our diesel-powered transit buses with electric buses will protect the health of local residents while reducing millions of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year. We applaud METRO for taking this important step on the way to a zero-emission transit fleet.”Bay Scoggin, state director of TexPIRG
The funding for these electric buses is part of a recently awarded $1.5 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. Following Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, Houston is now the eighth Texas city to purchase electric buses for its transit system.