Gainesville, Fla., Deploying Electric Transit Buses

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The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) is working with the Gainesville Regional Transit System (RTS) in Florida to deploy two 40-foot GILLIG battery electric buses and two ChargePoint charging stations.

The nonprofit organization will provide technical support services to help reduce deployment risks, maximize service efficiency and minimize operating costs. The zero-emission buses are expected to enter service in 2020.

RTS currently operates over 130 diesel-fueled buses in fixed-route service in the City of Gainesville and surrounding communities. RTS’ service connects several local college campuses and provides the city’s residential population with access to business districts and employment centers, says CTE.

The zero-emission GILLIG buses will be used to replace older diesel buses. Emissions reductions achieved through the project will help the City of Gainesville and the University of Florida reach their sustainability goals, according to CTE.

“It’s always exciting to be a part of an agency’s first battery electric bus deployment,” comments Blake Whitson, engineering consultant at CTE. “Gainesville RTS will learn things through this project that impact its fleet replacement plans. This is the first step on a path to a zero-emission transit service.”

CTE notes that the project was made possible through the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program. RTS is one of six transit agencies in Florida to receive these program funds, says CTE.

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