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VIA Plugs In Eight New Electric Buses Into Sustainable Fleet

Staff and Operators are training, and vehicles are being road-test for rollout later this year.


VIA debuted its new all-electric bus on March 3, 2023, as part of its ongoing commitment to cleaner, greener transit options for San Antonio.


The addition of the 40-foot Gillig buses expands VIA’s sustainable vehicle profile that includes nearly 500 buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) at North America’s largest CNG fueling station, run by VIA.


The electric vehicles, designed and manufactured in California, were procured through a federal grant award and delivered in December 2022.


Part of the project included the construction of a charging area for the eight new buses. Earlier this year, a covered 12-bay docking area was completed and currently houses four charging stations that are capable of charging two buses each. VIA is testing the “Arc” buses, named for an electrical charge, training staff and operators, and finalizing the charging infrastructure.


“The addition of new all-electric buses keeps VIA moving in the right direction with green technologies that are advancing to a point that makes them practical as well as sustainable,” President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “VIA’s CNG fleet conversion delivered up to a 97% reduction of harmful emissions from the vehicles they replaced and put us on the road to a cleaner, greener future.”


VIA plans to place two Arc buses into service this summer for testing and data collection, which will help the agency determine how it will subsequently deploy the full electric fleet.


GET TO KNOW THE GILLIG ALL-ELECTRIC BUS

♦ 40-foot vehicles with 38-passenger capacity

♦ Onboard full-function telematics that allow for real-time performance monitoring

♦ Amenities include dimmable LED lighting and USB charging ports at every seat

♦ The Arc buses use regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy created while slowing into energy

♦ Charge time expected to be four hours or less

♦ Range expected to be 150 miles

♦ Vehicle testing and staff training will be completed before e-buses are put into service

♦ Rollout is expected in second half of 2023


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