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Transit Showcases New Electric Bus

At the Tuesday, 9/4 City Council meeting, parking on Acequia directly in front of City Hall was scarce.

Thanks to a combination of funding from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) grant, Prop 1B Funds, and Local Transportation monies, the City's first Battery Electric Bus (BEB) was parked, charged up and open for tours.

"We recently took delivery of three new electric buses and they're the first of their kind to be added to our Visalia Transit fleet," shared Melody Murch, City of Visalia Transit Department. "These buses will be used in a pilot program which monitors their performance in comparison to the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles we currently use on our Transit fixed routes."

The buses are expected to be used by Transit's new operations and maintenance contractor, First Transit, for driver training this month. The buses are scheduled to begin revenue service on Route 1 on October 1st.

"The buses are currently being charged by the use of a portable charger, but construction of the permanent charging infrastructure is projected for completion by mid-October," added Murch. "Moving forward, we will work closely with Southern California Edison to manage the electricity rates and demand charges for the charging of these buses, as well as to access any programs or special rate structures available for this type of electric power use."

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the date of the Council meeting was 9/6.

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