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Owensboro Transit puts first electric bus on the road

Electric bus Owensboro
Owensboro Transit
Owensboro Transit has its first electric bus on the road.

Owensboro Transit put a new bus on the road on Monday - it’s all electric.

At the same time that Owensboro’s first electric bus is cutting down harmful emissions, the bus also keeping down expenses on the city budget.

The cost of the $940,000 bus was completely covered by $1.6 million from
the Federal Transit Administration and $156,000 from Kentucky’s
share of Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Funds, which the automaker had to pay for violating the Clean Air Act.

Owensboro Transit Manager Pamela Canary said federal and state funds paid for more than just the vehicle.

“That was for the complete project, the bus and the infrastructure that we had to do," said Canary. "The infrastructure was upgrading our electrical service at our bus garage and installing chargers so we could charge the bus.”

Canary said if this first electric bus proves successful, it could be the start of more vehicles that use alternative energy.

“When we installed our charging system, we installed two chargers," said Canary. "So looking into the future, if we were to get another bus, we would have the capability of charging that, as well.”

Canary says bus drivers and mechanics also had to be trained to operate and maintain the bus and more intensive training is planned for the summer.