Miami-Dade County to acquire its first electric buses
In keeping its commitment to modernize its Metrobus fleet while reducing its carbon footprint, Miami-Dade County is moving forward with the purchase of 33 battery-electric buses.
In October, the Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously approved the purchase of the 33 electric buses and charging systems for the Department of Transportation and Public Works. The new electric buses will bring in zero-emission vehicles that offer low-noise operations and support the shift of the transportation sector away from petroleum dependence to alternative fuel technologies.
“We are modernizing our Metrobus fleet and implementing different options that provide alternative and sustainable fueling sources, while reducing our carbon footprint and improving mobility for our residents and visitors,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
Every zero-emission bus can eliminate 1,690 tons of carbon dioxide over its 12-year lifespan. This is equivalent to taking 27 cars off the road. In addition, electric buses travel about 17.48 miles per diesel gallon equivalent, while CNG buses travel 4.51 miles per diesel gallon equivalent. By using less fuel while traveling the same distance, or even greater distances than diesel fueled or CNG buses, fleets using zero emission buses can reduce their overall fuel costs annually.
“By upgrading our bus fleet, we’re realizing a cost-effective approach to lowering our fuel and maintenance costs, while providing a more reliable and comfortable ride for our transit users,” said Alice N. Bravo, P.E., Director of the Department of Transportation and Public Works.
According to a 2019 report by the BloombergNEF research firm, electric vehicles, or EVs, are on track to dominate global sales of passenger cars and buses by 2040. Per the report, based on analysis of the evolving economics in different vehicle segments and geographical markets, electric buses are set to hold 81% of municipal bus sales by 2040.
In addition, earlier this month, DTPW accepted for service the last of the 300 new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, maintaining the Department’s promise to have the new fleet of 300 CNG buses ready for service in the fall of 2019.
The purchase of the 300 CNG buses is one of the most aggressive bus-replacement programs in Miami-Dade County’s history and is helping to improve bus service reliability. The 40-foot CNG buses will also help generate a positive fiscal impact to the County by providing long-term fuel cost reductions. DTPW received its first CNG bus in January of 2018; and today, riders can enjoy a more comfortable and quieter ride onboard the CNG buses. These hi-tech vehicles also have two 37-inch digital screens that display the bus location, weather information, and more.
Miami-Dade County has an active fleet of over 750 buses and the current average age of the fleet is approximately 7.3 years.
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