PLATTSBURGH — Nova Bus announced a new deal with Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) Thursday, becoming the bus manufacturer’s first U.S. electric bus order.
“This is news we have been waiting for,” North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas says in a recent news release. “This is the arrival of the future.”
While other transit groups have ordered Nova Bus’ all-electric model, known as the LFSe+, the orders were from outside the country. With the national and global market transitioning to electric buses, Douglas believed Nova, alongside battery technology partner BAE, positioned Plattsburgh “to be a very important part of this exciting new development.”
“This places us not only at the heart of the changing transit market, but at the center of the evolving clean energy, green technology economy,” he says. “It all starts with the first order and that start is here.”
‘MORE EFFICIENT TRANSIT’
The MCTS says its the largest transit agency in Wisconsin, and is the primary transit provider for Milwaukee County. It has a fleet of 370 clean-diesel buses and 1,100 drivers, mechanics and administrative staff. It provides nearly 29 million rides annually.
Its recent order with Nova Bus was for 15 of the all-electric LFSe+ buses, which, in June 2018, became the first electric bus in the industry to receive a passing score for a full test at Altoona.
“Alternative fuel buses represent the future of public transportation,” Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley says in a Nova Bus release. “These battery-electric buses from Nova Bus will help us transition towards greener, more sustainable, and more efficient transit for our community.
“Innovative technologies like this help strengthen the overall system and advance racial equity by increasing access to employment, education, healthcare, grocery stores, and other essential destinations.”
Multiple elected officials were happy to hear of the deal, including Sen. Charles Schumer, who said, “Nova Bus’s state-of-the-art electric buses will transform public transportation in Milwaukee, improving reliability, service, safety, and capacity, while helping the environment at the same time.”
“I’m especially proud that the buses will be built right here in New York,” Schumer continues in a news release, referring to the Nova Bus plant located on Banker Road in the Town of Plattsburgh, “solidifying the state as a leader in manufacturing clean energy and transportation technologies. As we work to combat climate change, zero-emissions public transit and transportation infrastructure like Nova Bus’s electric buses will be critical to a cleaner future.”
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) believed Nova Bus to be an important part of the North Country’s manufacturing industry and economy.
“Their newly awarded contract with Milwaukee County Transit System is a testament to skilled employees and operation,” her statement says. “I will continue to strongly advocate for Nova Bus and our North Country manufacturing industry in Congress.”
Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Michael Cashman joined the conversation, as well, saying the electric bus line was not only Nova’s future, but Plattsburgh’s green future, as well.
“The strength the Nova Bus state-of-the-art technology paired with their talented workforce here in Plattsburgh is once again being recognized as a world class industry leader,” Cashman told the Press-Republican. “The Town of Plattsburgh being a designated Clean Energy Community by NYSERDA values and celebrates developments of this magnitude occurring right here in the town.
“The green economy and technology is not a fad. Nova Bus is already recognized for their premier product. This is the next generation. Congratulations to Nova Bus.”
Douglas issued Nova Bus congratulations, as well.
“We thank them for choosing Plattsburgh as the place for this new production,” he says. “It is testament to their years of technology development and to the talent of our area workforce and suppliers.
“Onward and upward, and on the bus. An electric bus.”
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