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Metro Link Adds to Its Electric Fleet

Thanks to a federal grant, Metro Link has been able to buy five more "battery electric" buses. The public transit provider for the Illinois Quad Cities officially added them to its fleet during a a celebration  Wednesday morning.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Hirsch says Metro Link now has a total of eight. They need four hours to charge, and then have a range of 10 to 12 hours, depending on whether the batteries also have to power other systems such as heating and air conditioning.

The purchase of the new, electric buses is part of the agency's long-term commitment to sustainability. 

"It began with the transition to compressed natural gas. And all of the infrastructure we've put in over the past five years has been sustainable, and been built to LEED standards. And these battery electric buses are the next stage when it come to environmentally-friendly transit vehicles."

Hirsch says Metro Link began phasing out its diesel-powered buses in 2002, and replacing them with buses running on compressed natural gas. Then last year, it added its first battery electric buses.

Their initial cost is higher, at 750,000 dollars each, but over the long-term she says they're cheaper because they have 30 per cent fewer parts and they do not need oil changes or liquid fuel. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.