COLUMBIA — Columbia's bus service, COMO Connect, received a $1.7 million grant on Thursday to help fund electric buses from the Federal Transit Administration. 

COMO Connect expects to replace diesel buses in its fleet with at least three 30-foot electric buses that will be funded through the Low or No Emissions Vehicle Program grant, according to a city of Columbia news release. The city is scheduled to get three new electric buses in mid-August.

The cost of an electric bus from BYD Motors, Inc. is about $600,000, while the cost of a diesel bus is between $450,000 and $475,000, according to previous Missourian reporting. The electric buses have a lifespan of 12 years, while the city's diesel buses need to be serviced after 3 years.

The release said the electric buses will save COMO Connect an estimated 70 percent in maintenance costs. The three new buses will be used for the core connector routes and the evening Tiger Line routes.

A resolution to add five additional 40-foot electric buses is on the schedule for the Aug. 15 City Council meeting.  

"We continue to see impressive results from our current battery electric bus and can't wait to expand this technology," Public Works Department Multi-Modal Manager Drew Brooks said in a news release.

Supervising editor is Allison Colburn.

By Lindsey Jenkins

  • I am a student at MU studying journalism with an emphasis in magazine writing. I am originally from Castle Rock, Colorado. Connect with me on Twitter @lindseyjourno or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720

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