Metro announced on September 20 that it will build its first all-electric bus garage at Northwest DC’s Northern Bus Garage as part of its goal of transitioning to a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2045.
The new facility will have infrastructure and equipment that operates 100 percent electric vehicles.
“This is an important step forward in Metro’s commitment to help our region reduce its environmental footprint, improve public health, and modernize our facilities,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in a release. “We appreciate the Board’s leadership in contributing to the clean air targets shared by Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.”
The project will take around four years to complete after all the required approvals are received. At the beginning, new battery-electric vehicles will run together with the current Metrobus fleet, but it will transition to 100 percent electric over time.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced its goal of a 100 percent zero-emission bus fleet by 2045 back in June. Full transition to battery-electric or other zero-emission bus purchases will take place by 2030, according to the transit agency, which expects that the move “will improve regional air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide customers with a quieter, more comfortable ride.”
With the phased conversion of the Metrobus fleet, Metro aims to be able to buy vehicles as zero-emission technologies continue to improve. It will also allow Metro and its regional partners to make new investments in facilities, electric utility infrastructure, and workforce training to support the fleet transition.