Metro Transit will receive a $4.1 million grant award from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to help expand the electric bus program it launched in June 2021. The funds will be put toward improvements that include new charging infrastructure at a new location and the purchase of several new electric buses to replace diesel buses that are exceeding their useful life and are scheduled to be retired. A total of 18 battery electric buses went into service as part of the initial launch last year and another six new buses have been added to the MetroBus battery electric fleet in recent months.
All of the new vehicles being purchased for the electric bus fleet are zero-emission buses funded through various FTA grants (70-80%) and local sales tax sources (20-30%) and all offer similar cost savings and environmental benefits. The federal funds and local matches could support up to six new 40 foot battery electric buses and charging infrastructure at the DeBaliviere MetroBus facility. The existing fleet includes 14 60-foot battery electric articulated buses manufactured by New Flyer America and 10 40-foot battery electric buses made by GILLIG. The 60-foot battery electric buses operate exclusively on Metro’s busiest route, the #70 Grand, and carries about 10 percent of Metro’s customers on a daily basis. The battery electric buses made by GILLIG provide service on a variety of MetroBus routes in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County.
Currently, the 60-foot battery electric buses are charged while in service at the North Broadway-Taylor Transit Center, and every night all battery electric fleet vehicles are charged at the Brentwood MetroBus facility. This new charging infrastructure planned for the DeBaliviere MetroBus facility in the City of St. Louis will allow Metro to accommodate more battery electric buses as the program grows.