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Sound Transit Needs Electric Buses

King County Metro enjoys the benefit of lower fuel costs from buying electric buses. Josh Cohen argues that it's time for Sound Transit to get on board.
August 16, 2018, 12pm PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Renton, Washington

Diesel exhaust is one of the main toxic pollutants in the Seattle area, and Josh Cohen argues that it's time for Sound Transit to start the transaction to fully electric buses. "Sound Transit, which operates 307 buses throughout the region along with its light rail system, has no all-electric buses, nor any immediate plans to purchase them," Cohen writes for Crosscut.

Other transit agencies have already begun using all electric vehicles in their fleets. "King County Metro is leading the charge with 11 battery electric buses in operation on two routes in Redmond and Bellevue. The agency plans to buy 120 more by 2020, on its way to meeting a goal of being fully electric by 2040," Cohen writes. Everett and Peirce Transit have also already purchased all electric vehicles.

Besides the fumes, there's also maintenance costs to contend with. Advocates argue that over the life of an electric bus, it will save transit agencies money. While the initial cost of electric buses is still higher than that of diesel buses, the difference operational costs, fuel costs and maintenance costs can make up that difference and more over the life of a bus.

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Published on Friday, August 3, 2018 in Crosscut
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