Westchester County has added six all-electric buses to its Bee-Line fleet.
County Executive George Latimer was on hand last week to usher in the first of the new buses — a New Flyer Xcelsior XE 35. The 35-foot bus has 32 seats. Each new bus is expected to save approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel per year compared to a traditional diesel bus, while preventing greenhouse gas emissions from polluting the environment.
“This is an exciting day for commuters and the environment,” Latimer said. “The unveiling of our first all-electric bus shows Westchester County’s commitment to modernizing its fleet with greener vehicles. In addition to meeting our sustainability goals by reducing emissions, these new electric buses will save the County money by providing the system with significant fuel savings.”
The new bus, which costs $969,028, includes amenities like USB charging ports at every seat, a bike rack, 14 cameras for added security and a protective shield for operators. The New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, is providing $326,357 in funding per bus for four buses (totaling $1.3 million) as part of the state’s $127.7 million allocation of the federal Volkswagen Settlement.
“We have made it a priority to replace our existing bus fleet with new, energy-efficient cleaner models,” said Hugh Greechan, commissioner of the county’s Department of Public Works and Transportation. “We are excited to add the first all-electric bus to our Bee-Line fleet and implement charging infrastructure at our bus garage in Valhalla.”
The New York Power Authority (NYPA), with its main office in White Plains, is installing six electric vehicle chargers within the bus depot to charge the new buses that the county will own and operate.
The Bee-Line, which serves more than 27 million passengers annually, currently has 325 buses in its fleet, 177 of which are hybrid diesel-electric. In 2018 the county added 78 hybrid diesel-electric 60-foot articulated buses to its fleet. In addition, the county is in the process of procuring 106 40-foot hybrid diesel-electric buses which will be delivered in 2022. These buses will replace diesel buses.
More than 65 percent of all Westchester County residents are within walking distance of a Bee-Line bus route. The system has more than 3,300 bus stops and almost 60 routes.