Juneau residents will begin to see Capital Transit’s first battery-electric bus in service and on the road tomorrow. This is the first electric bus owned and operated by a public transit agency in Alaska.
Capital Transit unveiled the bus, manufactured in California by Proterra, during an event on Monday. Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon hosted the dedication ceremony of the first battery-electric bus to join Capital Transit’s fleet.
The new bus will be servicing the Mendenhall Express route, which travels via Glacier Highway between the Downtown Transit Center and the Mendenhall Mall, which is the location of Capital Transit’s future transfer site.
Original funding for the electric bus came from the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant Program. The program provides funding for state and local governmental authorities to purchase or lease zero-emission and low-emission transit buses.
Funding was passed through DOT&PF and a matching grant was provided by the Alaska Energy Authority under the Volkswagen Settlement fund. Capital Transit already uses three electric cars as support vehicles, purchased through grant funding from DOT&PF.
Capital Transit operations are funded primarily by general fund revenues from the City and Borough of Juneau and passenger fare revenues. The capital costs of vehicles and facilities are provided by the State of Alaska and the Federal Transit Administration. Only the local match for capital grants (10-20%) is provided by the Capital Transit Budget.
The CBJ Assembly has set a goal of 80% renewable energy by 2045. The bus is another step toward that goal and, with the help of many supporters, Capital Transit has been successful in being awarded Low- and No-Emission grants for four consecutive years. CBJ plans to use those funds to replace seven 2010 diesel buses that are at the end of their useful life.