MOLINE, Illinois -- Mass transit in the Quad Cities is getting more environmentally friendly.
MetroLINK welcomed three battery-electric buses to their fleet Monday, April 16.
The 40-foot-long buses are quieter than most buses and give off zero emissions, according to a statement from the Quad Cities Chamber. The buses will reduce long-term operation costs and fares will remain the same for riders. Here are a few features that come with the new buses:
- State of the art wheelchair securement system
- Nine security cameras
- 360 degree camera system
- Electric infotainment system
Back in 2002 MetroLINK unveiled its clean air initiative. Now 80% of the fleet runs on compressed natural gas as opposed to Diesel fuel. Adding to their efforts to go green, the new buses have no liquid fuel nor do they require oil changes; they also are built with 30% fewer parts.
"These buses will improve the quality of life for area residents in so many ways," said Illinois DOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. "By working with our federal and local partners, we are reducing operating costs and helping the environment by cutting down on harmful emissions, all while providing riders with a safer, more pleasurable experience."
The buses were paid for by grants from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration.
An additional $3.165 million was recently secured for the purchase of five more battery-electric buses and charging equipment. That money was awarded by the Federal Transportation Administration. Those buses are expected to be running by 2019.
MetroLINK is the first public transit system in Illinois to use battery-electric buses, according to Jennifer Hirsch, Manager of Administration for MetroLINK.
These buses will be assigned to Metro Route 20, which provides service from Centre Station downtown Moline down to SouthPark Mall and the Quad City International Airport.
Click here to see MetroLINK's website for maps and schedules.