Miami-Dade County moves forward in acquiring more electric buses
Miami-Dade County has issued a Notice to Proceed on a landmark fleet electrification project with U.S.-based electric vehicle technology company Proterra. This project builds on the County’s commitment on transportation electrification by expanding its electric Metrobus fleet to include an additional 42 buses, bringing the total to 75 electric Proterra buses and 75 Proterra chargers that will be installed across three bus depots.
Upon the full delivery of the vehicles, Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) will run one of the largest fleets of 40-foot battery-powered electric buses in the United States.
“This is a major step forward in Miami-Dade County’s commitment to incorporate clean, renewable energy to protect our environment and offer better transportation options,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “With these new electric buses, Miami-Dade will lead the way with the largest sustainable transportation fleet in Florida and one of the largest in the nation.”
In October 2019, the Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously approved the purchase of 33 battery-electric buses and installation of depot chargers from Proterra. Today’s announcement builds on Miami’s commitment on transportation electrification by expanding its fleet to include an additional 42 buses – bringing the total to 75 electric transit buses from Proterra.
A pilot Proterra ZX5 electric bus scheduled to be delivered to DTPW in mid-July for internal and in service route testing.
The other electric buses, all of which are manufactured in the United States, are slated to be delivered to DTPW in 2022.
“We’re upgrading to this large fleet of electric buses to solidify our environmentally friendly future, all while providing clean and reliable transportation for commuters,” said Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Jose "Pepe" Diaz.
As part of Miami-Dade’s fleet electrification effort, Proterra will install 25, 120 kilowatt chargers at three separate bus depots for a total of 75 chargers. At approximately nine megawatts of power, this represents one of the single largest charging hubs in the United States.
“It’s great to welcome another fleet of electric buses – not only to protect our environment but keep our neighborhoods quieter,” said Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Chair of the Transportation, Mobility and Planning Committee. “The ultimate goal is to get out of our cars and ride on a completely carbon neutral form of public transportation, and we are surely making our way there.”
“Miami-Dade County has long been a leader in advancing forward-looking clean technology solutions. We are delighted to build on our partnership together and drive the county’s switch to zero-emission, electric transportation with our EV technology,” said Jack Allen, Proterra CEO.
Proterra battery-electric buses feature zero tailpipe emissions, saving approximately 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases annually when replacing a diesel bus. The company’s fleet of more than 600 zero-emission, electric transit buses have displaced over 100 million pounds of CO2 tailpipe emissions.
Notable aspects of Proterra’s ZX5 bus model include:
- Improved acceleration (1.5 times faster than a standard diesel bus)
- Higher reliability and better ride quality
- Bike rack compatibility with fat-tire bikes, USB power outlet for each sitting passenger, on-board WiFi
- Improved lane change maneuvering capabilities
- Destination sign system with front and curbside color LED signs
- Automatic Passenger Counter (APC) and a surveillance system equipped with 14 CCTV cameras
- Enhanced comfort and ergonomics in driver area
By the time the contract is completed, 10 percent of DTPW’s Metrobus fleet will consist of zero-emission vehicles. Another 73 percent will be made up of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, which are low-emission and more reliable than standard diesel buses.
DTPW has been an early adopter of new transit technology, leading the way with a focus on reducing Transit’s environmental impact and improving quality of life for communities and riders.