Lawrence Transit invites community to see first electric bus
The city’s first electric buses have arrived, and the public is invited to see one at an upcoming unveiling event. The bus will be on display in front of the Lawrence Public Library at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 25. Following a brief program, there will be an opportunity to take a spin in the new vehicle and see how it rides. The Library’s How-To Festival will be happening during the same time, and Lawrence Transit will have a table where people can learn more about using public transit.
Electric Bus Unveiling Event
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Saturday, June 25
707 Vermont Street
Lawrence Public Library
10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Refreshments
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.: Remarks from project partners
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Bus rides, about 20 mins in length each
The Federal Transit Administration awarded two separate grants to the City of Lawrence for zero-emission electric buses that will serve the city and the university for many years to come. The grant program is aimed at helping communities invest in the next generation of bus technology to enhance their transportation systems.
The first round of funding will allow Lawrence to remove five diesel-fueled buses that have exceeded their useful life from service and deploy five zero-emission battery electric buses in their place. These buses and charging stations recently arrived and are expected to be put into service later this year. The second round of funding will assist with the purchase of two additional buses and charging stations to follow.
“We’re excited for the community to get their first look at these buses and take a quiet ride with us,” said Adam Weigel, Transit and Parking Manager. “By next year, nearly one third of the fixed route fleet will be all-electric, so we are moving with urgency on our sustainability goals.”
The city has a goal of converting 100% of their fleet of vehicles to clean energy by 2035, and the award of these grants will allow the City of Lawrence and KU to reach sustainability goals stated in the climate action plan.
In addition to their environmentally friendly characteristics, the new electric buses have features that will enhance the trip for riders, such as USB chargers and “flip seats.” These seats can easily be raised or lowered to make extra room for mobility aids, grocery carts, strollers, or other cargo.