Drew Brooks shows off a BYD electric bus

The city's transit and parking manager Drew Brooks, left, shows off a BYD electric bus to Art and Amanda Smith in May 2015. The city entered a lease agreement to purchase four of the buses in August 2015. On Oct. 17, the City Council voted to add five more electric buses to its fleet through a lease-to-own agreement with BYD.

COLUMBIA — The CoMO Connect fleet is continuing to go green.

Columbia will receive five more electric buses and battery charging stations from BYD, a company from which three buses were leased in August of this year. Delivery of the buses is expected around Nov. 4.

The buses will be obtained on a lease-to-own agreement over the next 12 years. At the end of the agreement, the city will own the buses outright, according to a memo to the Columbia City Council. The council unanimously approved the agreement during its regular meeting last week.

Drew Brooks, the city’s transit and parking manager, said the charging stations will be located at the Public Works Department's Grissum Building complex.

The lease is estimated to cost $3.6 million over the 12 years of the agreement. That cost is projected to be less than fuel and maintenance for diesel or natural gas buses over 12 years.

According to the council memo, the standard maintenance required every 12,000 miles for the electric buses would cost about $350, compared to the $1,000 for a diesel bus.

Brooks said the cost to buy an electric bus outright would come to $780,000, compared to the $720,000 the city would pay with the lease-to-own agreement they entered.

The council memo said eight of the city's diesel buses are beyond their recommended life span but are still safe to operate.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

  • Assistant City Editor, foodie, political junkie and graduate student from Louisiana. You can reach me by phone at (318) 758-0799 or by email at johntsadler2014@gmail.com

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