Columbia to receive five new electric buses

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COLUMBIA — Columbia will receive five more electric buses and battery charging stations.

According to the City of Columbia, the buses will be obtained on a lease-to-own agreement over the next 12 years and cost about $3.6 million. All of the buses will be painted with the current color scheme for Columbia's fleet and ancillary equipment will be installed upon delivery.

The charging stations will be located at the Public Works Department's Grissum Building complex. 

Shay Jasper, the marketing specialist for CoMO Connect, said currently Columbia has one battery-electric bus, which was released last year. There will be five 40-foot buses from BYD, with a monthly lease payment of around $5,000 per bus paid as operating expense from the University Shuttle account budget. 

Jasper said it will save 70 percent in overall maintenance costs and 50 percent in energy costs for the electric buses compared to diesel buses in the fleet. 

"Some kind of pre-maintenance on the buses just to make sure be the best they can be before we run them, is only cost 350 dollars," Jasper said. "While a diesel bus, it costs about one thousand."

Jasper said the city has seen a lot positive things including a significant maintenance saving from electric buses.

"It's moving forward with sustainability, which is our really huge goal for the city of Columbia," Jasper said.

"Columbia is the first of Missouri to have an electric bus, so we're starting something that's really great," Jasper said. "We can run them for 12 hours on one charge, that's pretty significant we're reducing greenhouse gases."

Delivery of the buses is expected on Nov. 4 and CoMO Connect is hoping to have a total of 12 electric buses next year.

"Energy efficiency is really big for us and of course, keeping us a sustainable future for Columbia," Jasper said.