Topeka Metro Board votes for six new buses

TOPEKA, KAN. (July 20, 2022) – Moving toward the future, on Monday July 18th, Topeka Metro’s Board of Directors approved the purchase of six new heavy-duty transit buses. Three of the buses will have traditional diesel drive systems, while three will be Topeka Metro’s first fully electric buses. The acquisition of the three electric buses will mark the beginning of a pilot project that will test the new technology in real operating conditions. The pilot period will consist of a three-year effort of testing various scenarios related to such things as weather, passenger loads and states of battery charge in order to better understand how electric buses could potentially be utilized by Topeka Metro.


The electric buses are manufactured by Proterra Operating Company, Inc., of Burlingame, California. The total cost of the three electric buses, chargers and warranties will be $3,506,547. A portion of the cost--$1,737,825--will be grant-funded under the Federal Transit Administration’s Low and No Emissions program. The delivery of the buses is expected to be in within 12-18 months. Gillig, LLC, of Livermore, California, is the manufacturer of the diesel buses. The total cost of these three buses will be $1,727,760, of which $1,468,596 will be grant-funded under the Federal Transit Administrations Bus and Bus Facilities Program. The delivery of these buses is also expected to be within 12-18 months.


The addition of these six new buses will ultimately mark the end for some of Topeka Metro’s oldest buses that have been in service for over 12 years. Over the next few years, Topeka Metro will be working to transition its current fleet in a new direction as it works to evolve into a more efficient and effective service.


“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to bring a new type of bus to Topeka, featuring a cleaner and quieter ride that benefits our riders, and broader community,” said Bob Nugent, Metro’s General Manager. “These new buses will allow us to test innovative technologies and features that can hopefully be expanded upon in the future as we seek to diversify our services.”