WMATA announces first all-electric bus garage to be built at Northern bus facility

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced today that it will build its first all-electric bus garage, with infrastructure and equipment needed to run 100% electric vehicles, at the Northern Bus Garage in Northwest Washington, D.C. Construction of the operations and maintenance facility is expected to take four years once all approvals are received, and will open with a mix of the current Metrobus fleet and new battery-electric vehicles, transitioning to 100% electric as Metrobus’ electric bus fleet expands.

“This is an important step forward in Metro’s commitment to help our region reduce its environmental footprint, improve public health, and modernize our facilities,” said Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld. “We appreciate the Board’s leadership in contributing to the clean air targets shared by Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.” 

In June, Metro’s Board of Directors adopted a goal of a 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2045, with a full transition to battery-electric or other zero-emission bus purchases by 2030.  A zero-emission bus fleet will improve regional air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide customers with a quieter, more comfortable ride. This phased conversion of the 1,500-vehicle Metrobus fleet will allow Metro to purchase vehicles as zero-emission technologies continue to improve to ensure consistent service reliability. It will also enable Metro and its regional partners to make needed investments in facilities, electric utility infrastructure, and workforce training to support the fleet transition. 

Metro’s new Director of Zero-Emission Vehicles, Amy Mesrobian, is leading Metro’s Electric Bus Test and Evaluation Program, which includes the procurement of approximately 12 electric buses. The Test and Evaluation Program will provide data and experience with electric bus performance in typical Metrobus operating conditions.  The results of the Test and Evaluation will inform future acquisition of electric buses as well as the facility improvements and charging equipment needed to operate the electric buses. Learn more about Metro’s Zero-Emission Bus Program 

Metro will host a virtual community meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 21, to provide an update on the Northern Bus Garage Reconstruction Project and respond to community questions. This major reconstruction effort will preserve the historic 14th Street façade of the 114-yeard old building, while providing a modern bus facility that is capable of operating a 100% electric bus fleet. When the facility reopens, it will feature modern air filtration systems, solar panels and additional LEED characteristics, providing an environmentally responsible building for employees and community.  

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