Battery Electric Buses to Return to Service on Connecticut’s Roadways

Tue Aug 01, 2023
Battery Electric Bus (BEB)
Battery Electric Buses depart from CTtransit New Haven

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced today that battery electric buses (BEB) operated by CTtransit will return to service this coming Monday, July 31, 2023.

Connecticut is planning to decarbonize its entire bus fleet by the year 2035 to reduce air pollution and dependency on fossil fuels, creating a brighter tomorrow for all of Connecticut’s residents. A battery electric bus uses batteries to power an electric motor for propulsion as well as the bus's auxiliary systems. Connecticut’s battery electric buses are classified as zero-emission vehicles, meaning the bus does not emit any tailpipe emissions. CTtransit’s battery electric buses have been out of service since July 2022 following a thermal event caused by a defect in the design of the bus that was part of a national recall. The manufacturer recalled the buses, and repairs were made to correct the defect.

“The return of these battery electric buses is part of Connecticut’s comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life in Connecticut by keeping our air clean,” stated CTDOT Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto. “These buses operate in areas that are disproportionately burdened by air pollution, and removing diesel emissions is vital to the health and wellbeing of all our residents. In addition to having no emissions, these buses are quieter, provide a smoother ride, and have lower maintenance costs than diesel vehicles.”

To safely return the BEBs into service, CTDOT worked closely with the bus manufacturer New Flyer, the charger manufacturer ABB, and CTtransit. This work included enhanced training and procedures for operators as well as for those in the maintenance and charging units. In addition, enhancements were made to the battery thermal management systems and monitoring software. 

In anticipation of the service return, each battery electric bus underwent a thorough inspection followed by comprehensive road testing to ensure the system updates and enhancements meet the needs of Connecticut's extensive public transportation network.  




Connecticut Receives $38.9 Million Grant from Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to Upgrade CT fastrak to All-Electric Fleet

Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto (second from the left), Governor Ned Lamont (center), and the Federal Transit Administration’s Peter Butler (farthest right) present the milestone award grant.

CT transit is excited to share that Governor Ned Lamont and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) recently announced a $38.9 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant to help convert our CT fastrak to an all-electric bus fleet.

“This significant investment showcases our commitment to sustainable transportation and underscores our dedication to fostering skilled professionals for the future,” said Thomas E. Stringer Jr., General Manager. We look forward to this initiative’s positive impact on our community, environment, and local economy. Thank you to the FTA and the CTDOT for their continued support.”

L to R: Peter Butler, FTA Region 1 Administrator, and Thomas E. Stringer Jr, CT transit General Manager.

This significant grant, awarded through the FTA's Low or No Emission Grant Program, will facilitate the purchase or lease of zero-emission transit buses and the necessary facility upgrades.

CT transit will use these funds to acquire 46 battery-electric buses and install 29 chargers for the fastrak bus rapid transit service. The grant will also cover the cost of installing 25 depot chargers at the Hartford facility, four on-route chargers at the CT fastrak New Britain Station, and the required electrical infrastructure. This initiative is backed by over $17 million in matching state funds and $30 million from federal formula funds.

This milestone represents a monumental leap towards Governor Lamont's objective of transitioning the entire statewide public transportation bus fleet from diesel to zero-emission models by 2035. It's a testament to our collective commitment and the potential for a greener future.

Governor Lamont.

“The new battery-electric buses and chargers will help us meet the growing demand for reliable, efficient, and environmentally friendly transit options, and will greatly benefit the thousands of residents and commuters who rely on CT fastrak services every day,” said Governor Lamont. “Thank you to the Biden-Harris administration for continuing to invest in green technology that will modernize Connecticut’s public transit system and spur new economic opportunities across the state.”

Around $5.6 billion in funding has been allocated through President Joe Biden’s recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the replacement of thousands of public transit vehicles nationwide.


Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto addresses the media.

“Investing in electric buses for the CT fastrak fleet is a forward-thinking move that highlights Connecticut’s dedication to sustainability and innovation,” said Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto.

CT fastrak was recently recognized as the best bus rapid transit system in the United States by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

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