Montgomery County officials gathered Thursday morning to roll out the first four electric Ride On buses, which are scheduled to hit local roads on Friday.
The county received a $1.75 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration in 2017 to purchase the vehicles and charging stations, which are manufactured by Proterra.
The fleet was originally scheduled to go into service last year, Bethesda Beat reported in 2017.
Chris Conklin, the county’s transportation director, said Thursday that the federal funding accounts for about 50% of the funding needed to purchase the buses, and that the county will receive more electric buses soon.
“The ultimate goal is to transition the Ride On fleet to an all-electric fleet,” he said.
County Executive Marc Elrich said the buses are important for furthering the county’s climate change initiatives, which include reducing carbon emissions.
“The buses are cheaper to operate. They need less maintenance. They use less fuel. They have a better life cycle. So we’re moving in the direction we need to go,” he said.
“This county has really high goals for climate change… and they will be absolutely impossible to achieve if we don’t start changing our transportation sector.”
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org