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St. Louis Taking an Electric Bus for a Test Drive

St. Louis will have electric buses running around town for a week, but that doesn't mean the city's residents should expect a massive rollout of the buses anytime soon.
April 7, 2017, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Louisville Bus
A Proterra bus demonstration for the Transit Authority of River City, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Darius Pinkston

Bryce Gray reports that St. Louis' Metro Transit is test driving an electric bus built by California-based Proterra next week.

The bus "will carry passengers on the No. 99 Downtown Trolley route until Tuesday, April 11," according to Gray. "The 42-foot-long bus is capable of going 250 miles on a single charge," reports Gray.

The test is very preliminary, however. "Once the bus' one-week test run is complete…there's no timetable for a decision about 'when, or if' Metro deploys the vehicles in the future." The cost of the Proterra buses is reason to be careful in testing out the futuristic rolling stock—the electric buses cost about $850,000 each. The diesel buses currently running routes in the Metro fleet cost about $440,000. According to local transit officials, the difference would be made up over time, given that the Proterra buses operate at two-thirds of the cost of diesel buses.

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Published on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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