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Electric Buses Pull Into Bryan/College Station

These buses will bring clean, quiet transportation to the students, faculty and visitors of the university.
Credit: Erickson, Melissa
Knoxville Area Transit electric bus. Photo courtesy KAT.

BRYAN, Texas — On Nov. 19, 2019, Brazos Transit District (BTD) purchased three 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 buses and three 125kW Proterra plug-in chargers for Texas A&M University Transportation Services that will bring clean, quiet transportation to the students, faculty and visitors of the university. 

The funds to acquire the electric buses were awarded to the Brazos Transit District (BTD) through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, (BUILD) Grant program. BTD was one out of 91 BUILD grants awarded nationwide. Five of these grants were awarded to Texas and only one of the Texas awards was given to a public transportation provider. 

Last year, BTD was awarded $17,562,500.00 from the Department of Transportation (DOT) BUILD Grant to replace eight BTD Fixed Route buses as well as twenty-one diesel buses and three 40-foot fully electric buses for Transportation Services to improve the performance, efficiency, and capacity of both fleets in Bryan/College Station. 

Credit: KAGS

During the grant writing process BTD joined forces with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), and applied for the grant together. Due in part to the strong support from local, state and federal officials, BTD was a 2018 BUILD Grant Recipient. 

“We are thankful for our great partnership with BTD and for the contribution of electric buses through the BUILD grant program.” said Assistant Director of Transit Madeline Dillard, Texas A&M Transportation Services. “The campus community will greatly benefit from these additional buses which will replace some of the older buses in our fleet that are beyond their useful life.” 

One of the most exciting elements of BTD’s BUILD Grant is the purchase of the dedicated electric buses. These will be the first fully dedicated all-electric public transit buses in Bryan/College Station. Proterra electric buses have zero tailpipe emissions or pollutants, eliminating about 230,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually for every diesel vehicle replaced. Proterra Catalyst vehicles are designed to be electric from the ground up and offer superior performance, with nearly twice the horsepower of a standard diesel bus and five times better fuel efficiency. 

“Brazos Transit District is committed to the future of public transit in Bryan/College Station, and this is a step towards implementing the use of innovative technology, while continuing to move towards a more efficient and environmentally sustainable transit system.” John McBeth, CEO/President.

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