Athens Public Transit unveils electric bus< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – Athens Public Transit unveiled its newest form of travel, its first-ever electric bus Nov. 9.
Passion Works, a studio centered on inclusivity based in Athens, hosted the unveiling at the Athens Community Center on Wednesday. The hour-long event welcomed everyone in the community to participate in dancing, a ride on the electric bus, and even a demo of how it is charged.
Sarah Conley Ballew, the director of the Rural Action sustainable energy solutions programs, said the new eco-friendly form of transportation will align with Athens city’s goal to lower its emissions.
“The city has set its greenhouse gas reduction targets to be met by 2030,” she said. “The city hopes to have reduced its carbon emissions by 75%.”
The Athens Public Transit is working to transition all of their city fleets to electric-based or into other alternatives that are non-fossil fuel based. For Maggie Ballew, a Passion Works intern, an electric bus is a symbol of what it means to help the planet.
“It is going to be so cool driving down East State street and seeing it go by knowing it is not releasing emissions,” she said, “which is very important for our planet because we need more transportation that is not so fuel intensive.”
However, having this goal to transition all of Athens City’s transportation has posed many questions surrounding its battery endurance and the practicality of where it can even be charged. For Athens specifically, he said accessibility is not an issue.
One local electric car owner, Ryan Fogt, said these questions have been long solved with today’s innovations.
“As the battery life continues to improve it becomes more efficient,” he said. “We will see them have a longer range, which is one of the biggest hurdles for people going electric.”
The city, despite its size, has a lot of infrastructure to support electric cars.
“The city has quite a few charging stations, many across campus and public ones in various places – compared to other small communities of our size,” said Fogt.
Athens residents can expect to see a rise in the number of electric vehicles available to the public. With a community goal of reducing its carbon footprint, Athens Public Transit hopes this is not the last time an electric vehicle makes its appearance on the roadway.
Fogt said she thinks the bus will have a positive impact.
“Athens is a pretty progressive community,” she said. “They care about climate and climate action.”
For more information or to ride the electric bus, those interested can learn more about the Athens Public Transit system at hapcap.org/transportation/athens-public-transit, or via email at athenstransit.org. The transit operates Monday through Friday from the morning until the evening.