Los Angeles' Metro Transportation Authority announced Thursday that it has inked a deal to purchase the first 5 buses of a potential 25 electric bus fleet.
In their announcement, Metro said that the first order of zero-emission buses will be put to the test to determine whether the vehicles can live up to "L.A.'s rigorous transit needs."
According to the MTA:
Metro’s Advanced Transit Vehicle Consortium (ATVC), a partnership with L.A. City, L.A. County and South Coast Air Quality Management District, will initially purchase five low-floor, 40-foot all-electric buses. After an initial period of testing and evaluation, Metro may then choose to purchase up to 20 additional buses. Metro will also initiate a new solicitation to convert six existing Metro gasoline electric hybrid buses to Super Low Emission Bus standards.
The purchase is part of a $30 million project to help bring cleaner technology to L.A.'s public transit. It includes a stipulation that the buses' assembly and maintenance take place in the county. BYD Motors, the company that won the contract, is planning to manufacture and maintain the vehicles from a facility in Lancaster.
The buses should be on the road by next year. Depending on how successful they are, the city may choose to purchase more.
The purchase is part of Metro's larger effort to test prototype "clean" technology vehicles and was funded by Measure R.