Lane Transit District wants to devote more than half of its bus fleet to hybrid and all-electric by next year. A small group of community members and environmental activists gathered at the busy Eugene bus station Tuesday to show support of the move.
Organizers with the Sierra Club unroll a long banner across the plaza containing 1,200 citizen signed postcards calling for a zero emission bus fleet. LTD spokesman Andy Vobora says this show of support is perfectly timed as the transportation agency prepares to enter into a formal contract to purchase their first all-electric vehicles.
Vobora: "Right now we're about 50% hybrid electric that was the track we were going down. What we were really waiting for with all electric was the cost, the availability and the range of the vehicles to really make it cost effective for us. And we're at that point now with the development so we're buying five of these next summer."
Vobora says this is a first step in a long term commitment. LTD has about 106 buses in their fleet. All-electric isn't cheap: $675,000 for a 40-foot bus. A 60-footer costs more than $900,000. However, these gentle giants run about a million miles before they retire.