New Battery-Electric Buses Launched in Maine

Greater Portland METRO and Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit (BSOOB Transit) have added four battery-electric Proterra ZX5 buses to their fleets in Southern Maine.

The new electric buses were launched at an event hosted by Chad Heid, Executive Director of BSOOB Transit, and Greg Jordan, Executive Director of Greater Portland METRO. They are the first electric buses to provide fixed-route public transit in Maine in over twenty years.

Electric Buses Maine
Maine Governor Janet Mills and US Senator Angus King took part in the ribbon-cutting event, held at Ocean Gateway Visitor’s Center in Portland
Senator Angus King said:

“Electrifying transportation provides a key opportunity to confront climate change while giving Maine people more accessible, affordable ways to get around. The four new electric buses for these Southern Maine communities are a significant investment in our state’s sustainable future and transportation infrastructure. I was excited to join the launch of these buses today, and look forward to seeing Greater Portland Metro and Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit make more important clean transit investments in the years to come.”

Electric buses help improve the air quality in local communities by eliminating exhaust emissions and pollutants produced by diesel models. Recent advances in electric bus technology and a decline in battery costs have made electric buses an increasingly viable option, motivating many US transit agencies to electrify their fleets.

The four new electric buses have replaced twenty-year-old diesel models. Maine politicians hope all the state’s bus fleets will be zero-emission at the tailpipe by 2040.

Governor Janet Mills said:

“These buses aren’t just cutting emissions. They’re also cutting costs. These battery electric vehicles will cost us 60 to 80 percent less to power than diesel fuel buses, reducing our reliance on expensive fossil fuels. They will also improve the quality of public transportation for customers seeker a quieter ride. Today is just the start of our transition to a cleaner transportation system in Maine. Together I am confident that we can achieve our goal of carbon neutrality and combat the effects of climate change to preserve this precious state we all call home.”

The 35-foot buses each cost approximately 900,000 USD and were paid for using federal and state funding. Proterra estimates that they have a range of 240 miles on a single charge at BSOOB’s and METRO’s charging stations, which have been installed within their facilities.

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