Chapel Hill Transit is getting greener with the addition of new electric buses.
During a ceremony on April 8, CHT introduced 11 new electric buses to its fleet. Three of them are currently in operation, and the remaining eight are expected to arrive next year.
The first three electric buses arrived in January, but the ceremony wasn't held until all partners and stakeholders could attend.
Brian Litchfield, director of CHT, said these zero-emission vehicles will help the town reduce its carbon footprint.
“Not only does that have benefits to the communities we serve, but also to the residents and the folks that are driving buses and others as well,” he said.
Batteries on the buses last 10 to 12 hours, and each charge provides 120 to 130 miles. Measures are in place to ensure that if the battery of the bus gets too low, the driver is able to arrange a charge with the dispatch operator.
The first three buses were funded through a federal grant, the N.C. Department of Transportation, the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, UNC and UNC’s student-run Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee, Litchfield said.
The remaining eight buses are funded through federal and state grants, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Volkswagen settlement fund.
The RESPC was able to invest $390,000 for the buses through student fees, UNC senior Ben Brown, co-chairperson of the committee, said.