Aspen officials eye electric buses

Feb 7, 2017

John Krueger explains some of the benefits of electric buses to Aspen City Council members and Pitkin County Board of Commissioners.
Credit Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

A busload of elected officials took a spin around Aspen to check out new transit technology on Tuesday.

The city government is due to replace four buses on local routes in the next three or four years and is thinking of going electric. County commissioners joined City Council members on a lap around the Hunter Creek bus route to check out a potential model.

An electric bus goes for about $750,000, plus an additional several hundred thousand for chargers.

Government officials checked out an electric bus on Tuesday afternoon.
Credit Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

John Krueger, the city’s transportation director, said there are grants and leasing opportunities that could reduce those costs, and the city would save on maintenance and gas.

“The upfront cost would be about the same as a diesel, and then over the life of the bus, it’d be less than that,” Krueger said.  

Krueger plans to meet with several more electric bus manufacturers in the next couple of months, but riders wouldn’t see the new technology on the roads until about 2020.