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Lane Transit District Adds To Its E-Bus Fleet

Provided by LTD.

Lane Transit District’s battery-electric fleet is expanding.  Beginning next year, 19 more buses are being added, which will bring LTD’s total to 30, further replacing older, diesel-fueled vehicles.

Kelly Hoell is LTD’s Sustainability Program Manager.  She told KLCC that a contract finalized with New Flyer of America Incorporated means the new buses will be integrated into the fleet next year.

“The benefits of these buses are extensive.  They are much cleaner, there are zero tailpipe emissions, and as folks probably know in the Pacific Northwest and especially here in the Eugene-Springfield area, we have very clean electricity.  So these end up being very clean from a lifecycle perspective.”

The vehicles are essentially battery-powered buses that get rejuiced overnight in depot chargers.  The chargers and new buses were purchased with nearly $19 million from the Federal Transit Administration and the State of Oregon.

Work is underway at Lane Transit District to further reduce the service’s carbon footprint.

Hoell says LTD administrators are now exploring what fuels and technologies to invest in over the next 15 years.

“We have currently switched over from fossil-diesel in our existing diesel fleet, to renewable diesel, which is a drop in fuel that is lower in greenhouse gas emissions for local air quality benefits," she said.

"We are looking at all of the different fuels and propulsion technologies to allow us to continue to invest in cleaner and cleaner technology over time.”

Hoell adds challenges include more limited range for electric-battery buses, but the routes and fleet are arranged so transit service across the Eugene-Springfield area is unaffected.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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