About the Howard County Electric Bus Project…

Through a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program grant, Howard County, RTA, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), and the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) have partnered to replace three aging diesel buses with three state-of-the-art battery electric buses that will utilize wireless opportunity charging at the Columbia Mall. Learn more about the technology!

Managed by FTA’s Office of Research, Demonstration, and Innovation, the TIGGER program works directly with public transportation agencies to implement new strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or reducing energy use within transit operations.

These strategies can be implemented through operational or technological enhancements or innovations. To align the TIGGER program with other strategic initiatives, FTA encouraged project implementation that will enhance operational efficiencies, demonstrate innovative electric drive strategies, and create an environment prioritizing public transportation through intelligent transportation systems (ITS) or other related technology approaches to achieve efficiency and sustainability goals.

To meet program goals, the project team worked together to design, build, and deploy electric buses and on-route inductive charging infrastructure to study the impact that wireless opportunity charging has on routine service operations.

Data loggers on board each bus will provide information as to the efficiency and cost effectiveness of inductive charging for electric bus fleets. The data will also be used to calculate estimated emission reductions as a result of operating the battery electric buses in place of diesel buses. These key performance indicators (KPIs) or benefits will allow RTA and FTA to fully understand operational metrics to determine if the projected benefits have been realized from the deployment.

The buses operate on the Howard Transit Green Route (Route 401) servicing Columbia Mall, Wilde Lake Village, Howard Community College, and Howard County General Hospital.

Data collection and reporting will continue through August of 2019, however the buses will remain property of Howard County after the project comes to a close.

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