Electric Bus Program
We're Driving Toward a Cleaner Tomorrow
Many years ago MetroLINK made a commitment to be a sustainable leader in the Quad Cities. We understand that the decisions we make and the way we operate will impact the environment for years to come. Since 2002, we've transitioned nearly 80% of our fixed-route fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas. We've continued to seek the latest alternative fuel technologies to reduce vehicle emissions, and welcomed three (3) all electric fixed-route buses into our fleet in 2018. In 2019, we brought five (5) more all electric buses to the Quad Cities, and hope to bring even more with the support of our riders and community. There are currently nine (9) additional buses on order and scheduled for delivery on or before January 2022. Once deployed, MetroLINK will have a fleet of nearly 30% electric and will be able to decommission its last remaining diesel buses from the fleet.
You can catch a ride on an all new, battery-electric bus on the Route 10, 20, 30, or 40, or 60. Check out the next advancement in environmentally friendly technology and the best ride in town today! Metro YouTube!
What’s new on the Proterra battery-electric bus fleet:
Zero. That’s zero emissions.
Quietest ride on the market
Quantum wheelchair securement system
State of the art camera system with 4K technology and 360 degree camera
Infotainment (video display)
How They Work
Powered by state-of-the-art batteries under the bus floor, our electric buses are expected to travel for approximately 7-10 hours before they need recharging. Actual range of the buses is dependent on factors such as weather conditions, grade changes on the route, and passenger load. The buses can fully recharge at Metro's Operations and Maintenance Center in 2-4 hours.
The carbon composite body of the buses minimizes repairs and maximizes life. Steel-body buses often experience corrosion throughout their average 12-year lifespan. However, the carbon composite body of the electric bus is expected to stay in continuous service for years longer. The electric drivetrain was also designed with 30% fewer parts, which means fewer maintenance repairs and replacements over the lifetime of the bus.
The electric buses are exceptionally quiet and create virtually no noise when idling. In motion, they're whisper quiet at 57 dB and operate below a normal conversation level.
The electric buses produce zero tailpipe emissions. The table below shows estimated lifetime emissions reductions that are expected by transitioning a diesel bus to all electric. Metro also has a unique charging opportunity with its recently-constructed Operations and Maintenance Center (OMC). The OMC has a rooftop solar array with over 1,300 photovoltaic panels, which will further offset energy costs and fossil fuel reductions of the electric buses.
Proterra Electric Bus
Standard Diesel Bus
Greenhouse Gases (lbs)
Carbon Dioxide (lbs)
Carbon Monoxide (lbs)
Nitrogen Oxide (lbs)
Particulate Matter (lbs)
Black Carbon (lbs)
Frequently Asked Questions
What route (or routes) do the electric buses operate on, and why?
The current eight (8) buses operate on Metro's Route 10, 20, 30, 40, and 60. This decision was made based on factors that impact range on an electric bus (length of route, grade change, average ridership load, and hours of operation). New buses scheduled for delivery in January 2022 are slightly shorter (35' instead of 40'), and will have the capability to operate on Metro's Route 50, 55, 59, and 70.
How do the electric buses change my ride?
The buses are similar in size, shape, and ride compared to Metro's other compressed natural gas and diesel buses. Riders may notice that the buses are quieter, but otherwise no differences should be expected from a rider's perspective.
How did Metro fund the electric buses?
The three (3) initial buses were paid for primarily by a combination of Federal Transit Administration Section 5308 (Clean Fuels) and 5339 (Buses and Bus Facilities) funding, in addition to matching funds from the State of Illinois and MetroLINK. The five (5) buses delivered in Spring 2019 were paid for with Federal Transit Administration Section 5307 and 5339 (Buses and Bus Facilities) funding, in addition to matching funds from the State of Illinois. The nine (9) buses on order were paid for with a combination of EPA Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) funds and Section 5339 (Bus and Bus Facilities) funds, in addition to Illinois Capital Assistance funding.
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