Pittsburgh to transition to zero-emission bus fleet

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Pittsburgh Regional Transit this week announced a plan to transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2045 to improve the region’s air quality.

In 2025, the agency will increase the replacement of diesel buses with zero-emissions buses.  After 2032, it will only purchase zero-emissions buses.  It currently has a fleet of 730 buses.

“We recognize our responsibility to move as quickly as possible to replace our fleet with zero-emissions vehicles to improve the health, safety, and welfare of the communities we serve,” the agency’s CEO Katharine Kelleman said. “This investment in our system touches upon so many of the values that will propel our region toward a more equitable and sustainable future.”

The average 40-foot electric bus costs $950,000, and the agency expects to spend approximately $1 billion over the next 20 years.  This does not include the cost of facility upgrades, charging infrastructure, and non-revenue vehicles.

The transition also includes retrofitting four bus garages and a maintenance facility. Federal funding is expected to be used toward the cost of the buses as well as to purchase charging infrastructure and train 1,400 bus operators and 800 mechanics on the technology.

The agency currently has seven put its first two battery-electric buses in service.