Capital Transit Unveils Alaska’s First All-Electric Bus

Capital Transit Unveils Alaska’s First All-Electric, Zero-Emission Bus

Juneau residents will begin to see Capital Transit’s first battery-electric bus in service and on the road from April 14. This is the first electric bus owned and operated by a public transit agency in Alaska.

Public Works and Engineering Director, Katie Koester, said:

“The City and Borough of Juneau is committed to bringing clean, safe, and reliable public transportation to its ridership and the community. Capital Transit drivers and mechanics have been retraining to operate and maintain the new 40-foot long bus and to learn the nuances of its integrated battery management system. We have eliminated oil changes.”

Capital Transit unveiled the bus, manufactured in California by Proterra, during an event on April 8. Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon hosted the dedication ceremony of the first battery-electric bus to join Capital Transit’s fleet. Guests included Governor Mike Dunleavy, State Senator Jesse Kiehl, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Commissioner John MacKinnon, and Proterra representative Mark Hollenbeck.

The new bus will be servicing the Mendenhall Express route, which travels via Glacier Highway between the Downtown Transit Center and the Mendenhall Mall, which is the location of Capital Transit’s future transfer site.

capital transit Alaska electric bus
Capital Transit unveiled the bus, manufactured in California by Proterra, during an event on April 8.

Original funding for the electric bus came from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant Program. The program provides funding for state and local governmental authorities to purchase or lease zero-emission and low-emission transit buses. Funding was passed through DOT&PF and a matching grant was provided by the Alaska Energy Authority under the Volkswagen Settlement fund. Capital Transit already uses three electric cars as support vehicles, purchased through grant funding from DOT&PF.

The CBJ Assembly has set a goal of 80 percent renewable energy by 2045. The bus is another step toward that goal and, with the help of many supporters, Capital Transit has been successful in being awarded Low- and No-Emission grants for four consecutive years. CBJ plans to use those funds to replace seven 2010 diesel buses that are at the end of their useful life.

This article was originally published by the City and Borough of Juneau.

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