Electric mass transit makes for a more pleasurable commute

Washington D.C.’s Metro transit system just became the latest mass transit system to go electric. The first order of business for many metropolitan transit systems: buses.

Nashville added a fleet of electric buses earlier this year. Dallas Area Rapid Transit just bought seven new electric buses, too.  In Alaska, tourists are seeing more electric tour buses.

Electric buses cut a significant amount of carbon-- some systems report up to 70% savings in fuel costs. The awful irony of touring a glacier on a massive, carbon belching bus wasn’t lost on Alaska Coach Tours in Alaska.

“We live here, and we see how the glacier is changing due to climate change, so we felt a responsibility to do this,” said Dennis McDonnell, president of Alaska Coach Tours is quoted as saying in the Washington Times.

For transit systems, environmental friendliness might just play second fiddle to the pure comfort of electric drive. Public transit can be a bumpy, loud, sweaty and overall infuriating experience. Electric buses cut down on bumpy and loud.

Nashville Public Radio writes:

The new additions look more aerodynamic than an average bus and glide along without fumes. But it’s what’s on the roof that makes the big difference. An overhead battery charging station gives the bus full juice in just 10 minutes. Then veteran driver Angela Nance can go 25 miles like never before.

“A regular bus, you would feel every bump,” she said. “On this bus, you barely even known it’s on, it’s so smooth.”

Right now, companies are scrambling to offer the best bus technology-- Proterra’s most recent all electric model gets 250 miles to a charge. Sounds like we’ll likely be seeing more and more green and comfortable transit.