Electric buses to hit the roads next spring
Bermuda’s first electric buses are expected to hit the roads in April, it was announced yesterday.
Lawrence Scott, the transport minister, said 30 buses would soon be on their way from China.
He added: “I am very excited to announce that the project has progressed despite global supply chain issues.
“We anticipate that the buses will be arriving on three shipments over the next few weeks.”
He explained that commissioning the new buses and training staff meant they would be expected to go into service next spring.
Mr Scott added: “The Department of Transportation is recruiting additional bus operators which will ensure that we have the resources required to provide a reliable and consistent bus service.”
The buses were manufactured by the Golden Dragon Bus Company in China.
The company has completed pre-delivery inspections and is preparing the buses to be shipped from Shanghai to Bermuda.
Mr Scott said: “The initial request for proposal for the new electric buses envisioned transitioning the entire bus fleet to electric over ten years.
“The permanent charging infrastructure will accommodate the whole fleet.
“The RFP for this new infrastructure is concluding and the contract award is anticipated early in the new year.
“The build will take one year to complete.”
Mr Scott added: “Additionally, we look forward to the Ministry of Public Works completing its solar PV project for the Fort Langton bus garage that will produce energy to assist with charging buses.”
Mr Scott said the new fleet would result in a safe and reliable service.
He added: “In order to have a reliable and consistent bus service we need 88 buses. We currently have 51 operational buses - you add the 30 to that and you are getting very close to 88.
“So this should put us in a position where we can arrest or close to eliminate the mass cancellations but we can’t say that we can eliminate all cancellations at this time.”
Mr Scott said that a second delivery of buses was planned and was “under consideration for the next budget period”.
He added: “When we take delivery of the second tranche of buses, that will put us in a place where we can say, outside of unforeseen circumstances, we should have a safe, consistent and reliable bus service.”
Roger Todd, the director of the Department of Public Transportation, said there would be no extension of the service to cover later hours.
He added: “The current public bus schedule ends at 11.45pm and at this time there are no plans to revise the schedule.”
Mr Scott added that other transport options were available for people who had been out on the town and did not want to risk driving or riding.
He said: “We have worked with the Bermuda Road Safety Council, which is also working with Cada and other stakeholders to provide other options for those that may be inebriated or under the influence.
“That is a better medium to transport those who might be under the influence outside of the regular bus service.”