Arlington Transit Purchases Electric Buses
Published on August 16, 2023
Arlington’s transit system, ART, is buying four Battery Electric Buses (BEBs) as part of the County's commitment to sustainable public transportation. These will be the first BEBs in ART’s fleet.
"Delivering transit service is at the core of who we are and what we do, when it comes to realizing our vision of smart growth that is environmentally conscious and sustainable,” said Christian Dorsey, Chair of the Arlington County Board.
The American-made buses by Gillig were chosen after testing and operations by ART staff on a variety of Arlington routes in 2022.
Merging Environmental and Operational Sustainability
The purchase is part of a proposed larger contract for a total of 19 buses to replace aging vehicles in the ART fleet. The four BEB pilot buses includes three 588 kWh buses and one 686 kWh battery bus. The vehicles will be deployed following the completion of the ART Operations and Maintenance Facility on Shirlington Road.
"This purchase is the second step of the County Board’s focus on a greener, healthier future for Arlington Transit,” says Lynn Rivers, Transit Bureau chief for Arlington County. “The first step began with our public vehicle demonstrations of BEB technology. The partnership with Gillig points us in the right direction for a reliable and resilient zero-emission transit fleet that contributes to a cleaner, healthier County."
The initial BEBs are part of a pilot to evaluate new technologies within ART operations while maintaining current reliable levels of service. Seventy-eight Compressed Natural Gas buses compose ART’s current fleet. The purchase of zero-emission buses and mobile chargers underscores Arlington's noted commitment to becoming a carbon neutral community by 2050.
The buses were funded through a combination of Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) ($3.26M) and local county transportation funding ($1.16M).
About ART Bus
Arlington Transit bus service provides safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable transportation within Arlington County.
ART’s 16 routes provide connections to neighborhoods, Metrobus and Metrorail and Virginia Railway Express. A new Arlington Transit Strategic Plan to guide service for the next ten years is under development and is expected to be completed this fall. Visit the ART website to find maps, schedules, and plan a trip.