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Merced County, Calif., Adds Electric Buses to Transit Fleet

The Transit Joint Powers Authority of Merced County unveiled this week that five zero-emission buses have been integrated into the local transit fleet. The new buses have a range of about 250 miles between charges.

(TNS) — Electric buses are being used for the first time as part of the public fleet in Merced County.

The Transit Joint Powers Authority of Merced County unveiled Wednesday its first zero-emission buses being integrated into The Bus' system.

According the Merced County Association of Governments, five New Flyer model electric vehicles will serve the communities of Merced and Planada.

The electric buses measure 40 feet in length, have a range of about 250 miles between charges and can carry up to 38 passengers, including room for two wheelchair positions.

The eagerly anticipated addition of the electric buses comes as the transit industry throughout California is working to comply with regulations mandating a move to zero-emission fleets by the year 2040, according to the MCAG.

"The Bus and Measure V working together to bring these clean, electric vehicles to the streets of Merced County is exactly the kind of partnership that voters intended when they said they wanted better transportation systems in their neighborhoods," said Executive Director of MCAG Stacie Guzman in a news release. "This day marks an important step on the path to a zero-emissions future for our community."

According to the MCAG, the electric buses are intended to replace existing diesel buses and while more expensive than the diesel vehicles, $500,000 in public transit funding through Measure V helped to offset the purchase of the electric vehicles. The Bus has ordered a total of nine electric buses but manufacturing and supply chain delays prevented conversion of the local fleet until now, the MCAG said.

Bus schedules including hours of operation can be obtained by calling 209-723-3100 or by visiting The Bus website.

©2023 the Merced Sun-Star, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.