An Everett Transit bus drops off and picks up passengers along Rucker Avenue, just a few blocks north of 41st Street, in Everett on Thursday afternoon. Everett is set to receive a $3.4 million federal grant that will be used to replace its aging bus fleet with new electric battery-powered buses. (Dan Bates/The Herald)

An Everett Transit bus drops off and picks up passengers along Rucker Avenue, just a few blocks north of 41st Street, in Everett on Thursday afternoon. Everett is set to receive a $3.4 million federal grant that will be used to replace its aging bus fleet with new electric battery-powered buses. (Dan Bates/The Herald)

Everett to receive $3.4 million transit grant for electric buses

EVERETT — Everett Transit has been selected to receive a $3.4 million federal grant to purchase its first electric buses.

The grant, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program, is given to agencies to replace aging and polluting vehicles with new emissions-free battery-powered vehicles.

The award to Everett will allow the city to replace four of its oldest coaches with new extended-range buses from Proterra Inc. of Burlingame, California.

Right now Everett Transit operates 42 diesel-fueled buses, some as old as 22 years.

“It’s the beginning,” said Everett Transportation Services Director Tom Hingson. “You’ve got to start somewhere.”

The 40-foot-long Proterra buses have 40 seats, just like the buses they are replacing, and can run 150 miles on a full charge. They will likely be deployed on some of Everett’s busiest routes, Hingson said, such as Route 7 up and down Evergreen Way.

King County Metro already uses Proterra buses. Other customers include the Philadelphia-region SEPTA system, the Dallas-area DART agency, and the University of Montana.

Everett Transit’s annual budget of $25 million includes about $1 million that can be used as matching funds for grants to replace vehicles and equipment.

This particular grant will require a $600,000 match from the city, Hingson said.

The grant also covers the charging stations and other infrastructure needed to run the battery-powered buses.

The savings to the city are hard to quantify.

“If anything it should reduce our operating cost across the 12-year life span of the bus,” he said.

A dozen years is the federal guideline for bus replacement, he said, after which federal grant money could be applied to replace them again. In reality, Everett Transit tries to keep its buses running much longer with extended maintenance.

Diesel right now is the largest operations cost in the transit system, Hingson said.

The old buses only get 4 to 6 miles per gallon, while the new ones draw directly from the electric power grid, which is mostly hydro power. Calculated out against the number of miles the electric buses can get on a full charge, they would get the equivalent of 17-20 miles per gallon if they were running diesel engines.

“We’re confident we’re committing to a clean environment,” Hingson said.

The grant program was authorized by last year’s federal transportation bill, with included $3.5 billion in highway funding and $1.2 billion in transit funding to help improve Washington state’s infrastructure.

“We are still waiting to hear from the feds on when the money is to be released,” Hingson said.

It usually takes up to 18 months for a vehicle to be delivered, he added.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, who represents Everett and the surrounding 2nd Congressional District, announced Everett’s award Thursday.

“In Washington state transportation means jobs and these resources will help Snohomish County lead when it comes to an energy efficient system of public transportation while also reducing local carbon emissions,” Larsen said in a statement.

The complete list of grants is expected to be announced next week.

Chris Winters: 425- 374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

People look out onto Mountain Loop Mine from the second floor hallway of Fairmount Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mining company ordered to stop work next to school south of Everett

After operating months without the right paperwork, OMA Construction applied for permits last week. The county found it still violates code.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Arlington woman arrested in 2005 case of killed baby in Arizona airport

Annie Sue Anderson, 51, has been held in the Snohomish County Jail since December. She’s facing extradition.

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Everett
Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

The Nimbus Apartments are pictured on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County has the highest rent in the state. Could this bill help?

In one year, rent for the average two-bedroom apartment in Snohomish County went up 20%. A bill seeks to cap any increases at 7%.

A Snohomish County no trespassing sign hangs on a fence surrounding the Days Inn on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Meth cleanup at Edmonds motel-shelter made matters worse, report says

Contamination has persisted at two motels Snohomish County bought to turn into shelters in 2022. In January, the county cut ties with two cleanup agencies.

A child gets some assistance dancing during Narrow Tarot’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Lucky Dime in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Drive-By Truckers, Allen Stone headline 2024 Fisherman’s Village lineup

Big names and local legends alike are coming to downtown Everett for the music festival from May 16 to 18.

Sen. Patty Murray attends a meeting at the Everett Fire Department’s Station 1 on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Sen. Murray seeks aid for Snohomish County’s fentanyl, child care crises

The U.S. senator visited Everett to talk with local leaders on Thursday, making stops at the YMCA and a roundtable with the mayor.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Brenda Mann Harrison
Taking care of local news is best done together

The Herald’s journalism development director offers parting thoughts.

Lake Serene in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service)
How will climate change affect you? New tool gives an educated guess

The Climate Vulnerability Tool outlines climate hazards in Snohomish County — and it may help direct resources.

A cliff above the Pilchuck River shows signs of erosion Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Lake Connor Park sits atop the cliff. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Hill erodes in Lake Connor Park, forcing residents of 8 lots to vacate

The park has just under 1,500 members east of Lake Stevens. The riverside hill usually loses 18 inches a year. But it was more this year.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.