Arlington Transit Zero Emission Bus Demonstration



Arlington Transit is partnering with three to four bus manufacturers to pilot Zero Emission Buses (ZEB) in fall 2022 and winter 2023. The pilot will allow Arlington Transit to collect data and assess vehicle performance while operating across the transit system.

Routes and times that ZEBs will be in service will be shared with the public, and fares will be free.

Public Test Rides

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 can give feedback online.

Proterra Bus.jpg

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The Proterra bus followed the schedule below:

Service Date  



Starting from

Dec. 7

ART 41  

7:30 a.m. - 3:24 p.m.

Columbia Pike & S. Dinwiddie St.  

Dec. 8

ART 43

1:40 p.m. - 10:51 p.m.  

Crystal City Metro Station

Dec. 9

ART 55

12:11 p.m. - 7:44 p.m.

Rosslyn Metro Station

Dec. 13

ART 45

1:05 p.m. - 8:10 p.m.

Rosslyn Metro Station

Dec. 14

ART 77

2:30 p.m. - 7:10 p.m.

Shirlington Transit Center

Project Background

Arlington Transit will be testing 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 technician. Data will be gathered on the vehicles’ battery performance and range, and 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.

While pilot buses operate on ART routes, Arlington Transit customers will be able to ride the buses for free as well as provide feedback on their experience. LED headsigns on pilot buses will denote if a bus is in revenue service and will include the ART route number and destination.

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 to residents, workers, visitors, and students in Arlington. 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.

Public Process

In September 2022, the Arlington Transit Team parked the Gillig battery electric bus at the 2100 block of 15th Street N. for a stationary show and tell opportunity to allow people to see the bus, ask questions and learn more about the pilot program. The Gillig bus was also inserted into ART routes for the public to ride and provide feedback.

After the Gillig demonstration, a battery electric bus from Proterra arrived in late November 2022 for the second test of the demonstration program.