Arlington Transit Zero-Emission Bus Demonstration



About the Project

Arlington Transit tested Zero-Emission Buses (ZEBs) – including Battery Electric Buses (BEBs) on some of its most challenging routes while operating on ART bus routes, as well as with operators and technicians. The team gathered data on the vehicles’ battery performance and range to evaluate how ZEBs respond to the challenges of Arlington’s geographic terrain. This information will help Arlington Transit make future determinations on the procurement of Zero Emission Buses.

Pilot Project Goals

  • Evaluate efficiency of various ZEBs over Arlington’s service routes and geographic terrain
  • Test battery life and range of various bus models
  • Receive customer and operator feedback on various bus models

Commitment to Sustainable Service

Arlington Transit bus service provides safe, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable transportation in Arlington County. ART’s 16 routes connect people to neighborhoods, commercial areas, Virginia Railway Express, and Metrorail stations.

As part of continued commitment to providing safe, reliable service while supporting County goals to provide environmentally friendly alternatives to driving alone and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, Arlington Transit is piloting ZEBs from various bus manufacturers. The Battery Electric Bus Pilot demonstration supports the implementation of several County programs, including but not limited to the Community Energy Plan.

In early 2022, Arlington Transit issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking the availability of bus manufacturers to provide a ZEB demonstration during the fall of 2022 and winter of 2023. The demonstrations will allow Arlington Transit to collect data and assess vehicle performance while operating within the ART bus system. Responses were received from four bus manufacturers (GilligBYDProterra, and New Flyer) with each vendor proposing to use a Battery Electric Bus with charging equipment as part of the requested demonstration.

November 2023 - Zero Emission Bus Study

Public Process

December 2022 - Proterra Demonstration

In December of 2022, Arlington Transit tested a bus from Proterra. The public was given the opportunity to ride the Proterra bus for free on ART Bus routes and give feedback on their experience. Passengers who interacted with the bus provided feedback to the ART team.

September 2022 - Gillig Demonstration

In September of 2022, Arlington Transit tested a bus from Gillig. The public was given the opportunity to ride the Gillig bus for free on ART Bus routes and give feedback on their experience. Passengers who rode the bus provided feedback online.


November 2023 - Final Report, Additional Materials on Zero-Emission Buses

The materials below were developed by consultant Kimley-Horn over a dynamic period of change in the transit industry and informed by lessons learned or underway at other transit agencies. This dynamism is expected to continue for an extended period of time within the transit industry. As such, the consultant's recommendations are not intended to reflect any final County Board decisions, which may occur incrementally as challenges and opportunities evolve.