City of Racine – Today, Racine Mayor Cory Mason announced that the City’s nine electric buses have all arrived and should be fully deployed and transporting riders this spring. Currently, the RYDE Racine transit system is training their operators and technicians on the electric technology and testing the battery power of the new buses. The City will plan an official launch event in spring when the 5th Generation battery 35’ Proterra ZX5+ buses enter revenue service.
In November of 2018, the City received $6,190,906.00 from the Volkswagen Transit Capital Assistance Grant Program to fund the purchase of six electric buses and related charging infrastructure. The City was then awarded $3,183,723 from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Authority (FTA) Low or No Emission Vehicle Program (“Low-No Program”) to buy three additional electric buses. Racine was the only city in Wisconsin to receive an allocation, and 1 of only 41 other transit jurisdictions nationwide to receive this funding.
“I am proud of the fact that soon the City of Racine will have the largest electric bus fleet in Wisconsin,” said Mayor Cory Mason. “We are excited to have received the nine new electric buses and our transit employees are working diligently to prepare them for service. You may have already seen them driving around the City as we test their batteries. We’re benefiting the environment by moving away from polluting diesel, and we will be saving approximately $60,000 on fuel each year.”
“25% of the City of Racine’s transit fleet will be electrified by spring. This is a result of years of coordination by city staff and leadership of local elected officials committing to carbon neutrality. While we celebrate this achievement, we gain renewed energy in the work towards improved sustainability, greater savings and reliable service,” said Transit Manager Trevor Jung.
The City’s new electric buses were purchased from Proterra. On a single charge, the buses can travel about 175 miles. During peak service hours, all of Racine’s existing bus routes are less than 175 miles, which avoids the need for mid-route charging during the day. The buses will recharge at night, when the cost of power is lower due to decreased demand for electricity at night. It is estimated that the City will save 56,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year, which creates an annual financial savings of $60,000 for the City.
Pre-pandemic, Racine Transit (RYDE) provided more than one million rides per year, utilizing 35 buses on ten routes and 155 miles of mixed traffic right-of-way. The nine new electric buses will replace buses that are 16 years old and have driven 500,000 miles. Proterra buses have accumulated over 23 million service miles with over 135 customers and 650 buses on the road and in service across North America. The company’s first all-electric bus went into commission 11 years ago with Foothill Transit in California.