Copyright © 2016 Albuquerque Journal
The buses being purchased for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project will be powered with electricity, not diesel – a move Mayor Richard Berry says will save money and reduce pollution.
The purchase, he said, would put Albuquerque in position to be the first city in the country to operate a fleet of 60-foot-long electric buses. It also would give the city’s bus rapid transit system a chance to earn a gold environmental rating; no other rapid ride transportation system in the U.S. is gold-rated.
Berry told the Journal on Tuesday that his administration is negotiating with BYD Motors Inc. to buy 18 electric buses, which would serve as the fleet for ART, his signature transportation project. The contract is written, and both parties are giving it a final read before signing, Berry said.
The electric-powered fleet is expected to cost roughly $24 million, or $7 million more than diesel buses, city officials said. But operating the buses would cost about $21 million less over the next 12 years – the life of their warranty – for a net savings of $14 million.