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Riders liking the Belleville “zero” bus

So far so good for the trial run of a 2013 BYD zero emissions electric/battery bus on the streets of Belleville.

The new Transit Supervisor for the city, Paul Buck, says about 100 people who’ve ridden the bus have taken the time to write down their impressions of the vehicle, and the feedback has all been good.

The bus, which runs very quietly compared to the typical diesel powered vehicle, travels different routes every day and will be tested through the end of December.

“Not only do the customers enjoy this bus, so do our drivers,” said Buck who joined several people on a test ride Thursday.

Belleville’s Transit Operations Manager Paul Buck (left) with Mayor Taso Christopher.(Photo: John Spitters / Quinte News)

Selling points for an electric/battery powered bus are very low maintenance costs and, of course, significant savings over the long term from not purchasing diesel fuel.

It goes without saying that a vehicle producing zero pollution is a good idea.

Even the bus’s battery, which is guaranteed for 12 years, is completely recyclable.

The bus will travel about 300 kilometres on a single charge.

But, the buses are more expensive than traditional diesel buses. Buck says a ballpark price for a brand new zero emissions vehicle would be around $1 million. A diesel powered bus runs around $750,000.

However, one can reasonably expect a bus to last around 20 years, and the maintenance and fuel savings would make up the price difference quite quickly.

Belleville councillor Mitch Panciuk relaxes before a test drive of the zero emissions bus Thursday. (Photo: John Spitters / Quinte News)

Belleville Transit now runs 16 buses. All of them have diesel engines.


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