Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads

DART sets sights on electric bus fleet of the future

DART sets sights on electric bus fleet of the future

Proterra's EcoRide electric bus
DART took an electric bus for a test drive this week, hoping to entice the public in advance of a funding campaign. Photo courtesy of DART
Proterra's EcoRide electric bus
 Proterra's EcoRide is made in Greenvillle, South Carolina. Photo courtesy of DART
Proterra's EcoRide electric bus
The technology that powers the EcoRide is similar to what is behind the downtown streetcar line debuting in Dallas in 2015. Photo courtesy of DART
Proterra's EcoRide electric bus
Proterra's EcoRide electric bus
Proterra's EcoRide electric bus

Dallas is already home to the largest zero-emission transit fleet in Texas, but DART isn't one to rest on its light rail laurels. The transit agency took an electric bus for a test drive this week, hoping to entice the public in advance of a funding campaign.

The bus in question is Proterra's EcoRide, a sleek automotive made in Greenvillle, South Carolina. It comes complete with a bike rack, digital information display and zero emissions. In a statement, DART officials said the technology that powers the EcoRide is similar to what is behind the downtown streetcar line debuting in Dallas in 2015.

DART hopes to eventually buy nine electric-powered buses for operation along the D-Link, which travels from downtown to Oak Cliff and Uptown. The entire project would cost about $13 million, including infrastructure such as a quick-charging station along the route.

To help finance the environmentally friendly initiative, DART is applying for a Federal Transit Administration grant. DART officials said they were also exploring working with the City of Dallas, Downtown Dallas Inc, TxDOT and the North Texas Tollway Authority to fund the future bus fleet.