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  • Electric Bus Completes 13 Of 23 Planned Routes In Pilot Project


Electric bus completes 13 of 23 planned routes in pilot project


Honolulu -- The electric bus on loan from Proterra Inc., which is currently being used as a pilot project on 23 established routes for TheBus, has successfully completed 13 of those routes throughout O‘ahu. O‘ahu Transit Services Inc. manages TheBus and has been using the Proterra electric bus on routes to Hawai‘i Kai, Kailua, Mililani, Wai‘anae and Waimānalo.

Testing of the electric bus is ongoing and will confirm the viability of these vehicles as the City and County of Honolulu transforms its ground fleet to completely renewable energy sources by 2035. Last month, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and mayors from all of the state's counties announced their pledge to achieve 100 percent renewable ground transportation by 2045 for all vehicles, both public and private.

"Proterra means pro-earth, and I think for us pro-earth means pro-people and pro-Hawai‘i," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said during a press conference on Tuesday, January 30, as the pilot project was announced. "We want to continue this march of acquiring other electric buses and other alternative energy vehicles. Talk is cheap and its action that counts -- this is about implementing."

In addition to reducing the city's carbon footprint, each bus is expected to result in approximately $18,000 in fuel savings every year. While the buses have an approximately 30 percent higher upfront cost to purchase, the reduced operation and maintenance expenses are projected to outweigh the cost.

"Honolulu offers some the most challenging operating environments in the nation given that our mass transit system covers 97 percent of the island of O‘ahu," said Councilman Joey Manahan, who is chairman of the Budget Committee. "The successful test-run of the Proterra bus through Honolulu'smauka-makai and country express routes with mountains, valleys, and coastlines -- not to mention our stop-and-go traffic -- proves that the transition to an entirely zero-emission fleet is possible, and the time to start deployment is now. Not only are our residents and visitors being treated to a high-performance transit experience of the future with the Proterra electric bus, but byconverting conventional diesel buses to 100 percent electric buses the City and County of Honolulu can save up to $400,000 perbus in operation and maintenance costs over the lifetime of each vehicle."

The routes on TheBus that have completed Proterra testing include the following:

8 -- Waikīkī - Ala Moana

9 -- Pearl Harbor - Kaimukī

13 -- Liliha - Waikīkī - UH Mānoa

20 -- Pearlridge - Waikīkī via Airport

23 -- Ala Moana - Hawai‘i Kai - Sea Life Park

43 -- Honolulu - Waipahu

52 -- Honolulu - Mililani - Wahiawā - Hale‘iwa

56 -- Honolulu - Kailua - Kāne‘ohe

57 -- Honolulu - Kailua - Waimānalo

80A -- Downtown - UH Mānoa - Hawai‘i Kai Express

91 -- Honolulu - ‘Ewa Beach Express

93 -- Honolulu - Mākaha Express

98A -- Waikīkī - Mililani - Wahiawā Express

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