IndyGo builds largest electric bus fleet; more changes coming to public transit

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 27th, 2015) — Changes are coming to public transportation in Indy and one of the big projects — a new, greener bus model. IndyGo representatives say it now has the largest electric bus fleet in the country. Riders got a chance to see one of the buses this Saturday during an Earth Day Festival at White River State Park.

“We’re always looking for ways to reduce our operating costs and fuel is one the most costly things in our business,” Indy spokesperson Bryan Luellen said.

In 2013, IndyGo was awarded a $10 million dollar federal grant for 22 electric buses. The grant money covered about 80% of the cost while the rest required for a local match from the city. Luellen says not only will the buses be more cost efficient and better for the air quality — he says each bus is considered “green” in another way.

“This project was a great opportunity for us to mitigate some waste in the bus system. These were 2000 year model buses that were completely gutted and built from the frame up,” he explained.

each was refurbished with lightweight flooring and seats and will use Lithium Cobalt batteries.

IndyGo has also been working on installing solar panels at their garage thanks to a $3 million dollar “State of Good Repair Grant,” which will be used to charge the new electric buses.

The new buses roll out later this year, and that’s when the new transportation hub downtown will open-up as well. The new DTC will include a public indoor waiting area as well as bus bays with canopies. Representatives also say it’ll serve walkers and bikers since it’s in the heart of downtown and by the Cultural Trail and Bike Hub.

IndyGo and the City of Indianapolis are also exploring possible bike and car share facilities at the transit center.