An electric motor coach provided by BYD Auto Co., Ltd., a Chinese automobile manufacturer based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and Alaska Coach Tours stops at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center to showcase the potential for electric vehicle bus transportation as part of the tourism industry in Alaska on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

An electric motor coach provided by BYD Auto Co., Ltd., a Chinese automobile manufacturer based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and Alaska Coach Tours stops at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center to showcase the potential for electric vehicle bus transportation as part of the tourism industry in Alaska on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

City gets funding for another electric bus

Buses expected to join fleet in 2019, 2022

For the second year in a row, the City and Borough of Juneau is getting a federal grant to help bring an electric bus to the city. This year, the grant is more than three times as large as the one in 2017.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is granting the CBJ $1.5 million, according to an announcement Monday, through its Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant Program. The program provides funding for state and local governments to buy or lease zero- or low-emission buses.

The city received a $408,000 grant from the program in 2017, which, combined with funds obtained earlier, proved to be enough to purchase an electric bus and charger. CBJ has been working to buy an electric bus and a charger from Proterra, and the city expects to have that bus in operation by the end of 2019.

This year’s grant will take a while to bring an electric bus and its charging infrastructure, according to the CBJ’s announcement Monday. The city expects the bus to join the Capital Transit fleet in 2022. Capital Transit Superintendent Ed Foster said in the release that incorporating electric buses into the fleet is an important advancement.

“Capital Transit’s mission is to provide safe and reliable transportation to the Juneau public, and we look forward to doing that using no-emission advanced technology,” Foster said in the release.

In 2017, the city also secured grant money for electric cars as vehicles for staff members on the job, and there are currently three electric cars on the fleet as support vehicles. This grant money was through the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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