As part of its ongoing commitment to providing efficient, cost-effective service, while supporting regional sustainability goals, the CARTA Board of Directors recently voted to approve a Battery Electric Bus Master Plan & Roadmap that will guide the Authority’s efforts to gradually transition to a 100 percent battery-electric bus fleet for its fixed-route service.
Long having served residents and visitors of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, and with a service population of more than 548,000, CARTA and Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments leaders have worked diligently to modernize and replace the system’s nearly 100-vehicle fleet.
To date, that includes replacement of the entire DASH, Express, and Paratransit fleets – and a commitment to be fully electric by 2040.
Early in the process, it became clear that, in order to best ensure reliable service and system longevity, the existing diesel and gasoline-fuel buses needed to be replaced with an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative.
CARTA received its first battery-electric bus in 2019 and currently operates six in revenue service, with 27 more on the way this year. The Master Plan, being executed in partnership with Dominion Energy, lays out a comprehensive approach to determining technology, power, and energy needs, as well as an overarching charging strategy and fleet management plan that will facilitate the transition to a fully battery-powered fleet.
CARTA Executive Director Ron Mitchum said, “It’s an honor to serve as public transportation leaders in the ever-growing zero-emission space, and we’re committed to seeing this effort through, not just for the benefit of our current and future riders, but for all those who live, work and play in the tri-county region. Put simply, the future of transportation is electric – and now our region has a plan to get there.”
Read the Battery Electric Bus Master Plan & Roadmap in full here, and keep an eye out as these new buses hit the road.