The U.S. Department of Transportation has provided a $4.3 million grant to bring electric buses to the Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will contribute $5.8 million in matching funds for the purchase of five 60-foot New Flyer Xcelsior XE40 electric buses and eight charging stations. The buses will go into service by the end of 2017. They are made by New Flyer Industries Inc., in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, who advocated on behalf of Metro for the grant, said commuters will benefit from the new buses that will alleviate crowded buses and waiting times.
“With the zero-emission technology, these new buses will help reduce smog and other harmful greenhouse gases,” Sherman said in a prepared statement.
The electric buses will replace compressed natural gas-powered ones that are reaching the end of their 12-year life cycle. The electric vehicles can recharge their batteries within seven minutes during layovers using rapid chargers installed at the terminus stations. The batteries provide a range of 66 miles between charges, enough for a minimum of four one-way trips along the Orange Line.
The bus route opened in 2005 and serves stops between North Hollywood, Woodland Hills and Chatsworth.