DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton RTA may be adding more energy efficient buses to their fleet. They’ve been testing the new line of buses for the last year.
The key difference between the Next Generation trolley buses and others is that they can travel both on and off the wires, something previous fleets couldn’t do.
They currently have 4 Next Generation buses on their fleet, but they’re hoping to get more if all goes according to plan. Dayton RTA C.E.O. Mark Donaghy says the buses help them better serve the area because they cover areas on the wires, but are also able to cover the suburbs where there aren’t wires.
While the bus is traveling on the wires, it’s also charging its battery, which can go for up to 20 miles off the wire. Compared to diesel buses, which cost about 60 to 70 cents per mile, the Next Generation buses cost closer to 30 cents per mile.
So far, Donaghy says the tests have gone well. Going forward, he says they’ll be doing additional testing before they decide to add more Next Generation buses.
“We’re going to test additional routes,” Donaghy said. “We tested route one and route two, but now I think we want to move on to some tougher route like a route 14 that goes all the way to Centerville and to Trotwood on the northwest side. We think that ones a candidate to move from diesel to electric in the future.”
And Donaghy says they hope to make a decision on a new production order within the next 60 days.