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.  


Learn more about the Proterra Battery Electric Buses at Proterra.com


You can catch a ride on an all new, battery-electric bus exclusively on the Route 20. 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.

Savings So Far

These numbers reflect the total savings that have accumulated since MetroLINK began operating the all electric buses in 2018. This information is made available to MetroLINK via Proterra, and is updated weekly. 

Gallons of Diesel Saved:

32,496 Gallons

Oil Barrels Saved:

776 Barrels

Equivalent of Trees Planted:

8,553 Trees

Acres of Forest Saved:

392.42 Acres

CO2 Saved:

333.56 Metric Tons

last updated on November 4, 2019

Annual Tailpipe Emissions Comparison (Electric vs. Diesel)

Source: Proterra, GREET Model Fleet Footprint Calculator, & EPA Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator

Emissions Type

Proterra Electric Bus

Standard Diesel Bus

Greenhouse Gases (lbs)



Carbon Dioxide (lbs)



Methane (lbs)



Carbon Monoxide (lbs)



Nitrogen Oxide (lbs)



Hydrocarbon (lbs)



Particulate Matter (lbs)



Black Carbon (lbs)



Frequently Asked Questions

What route (or routes) do the electric buses operate on, and why? 

The initial three (3) buses are currently in operation on Metro's Route 20 Blue. 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). View a Route 20 Blue map and schedule. The five (5) additional buses are anticipated to operate on Metro Routes 10, 40, and 30.  

How do the electric buses change my ride? 

The buses are similar in size, shape, and ride compared to Metro's other 40' 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. 

Read all about it!


See what the local media has to say.

QC Online

Media Links

Press release 2019
Press release 2018
Media B Roll
Bus Photo 1
Bus Photo 2