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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 11/12/2010

Howard Co. to get three 'green' buses

By Washington Post editors

Howard County officials announced Friday they've received funding to add three full-sized, lightweight electric buses to their fleet.

County Executive Ken Ulman said the addition of the three buses means that Howard County will be the first public bus system in the country to use ground-based inductive charging to power its buses. An inductive charger provides energy to the buses' batteries through electromagnetic induction, which means the batteries are re-energized without requiring a physical connection.

“Howard County has been an innovative leader when it comes to environmental sustainability, and this greener mode of public transportation is another example of our commitment to saving the environment and saving money,” Ullman said. The buses will operate on Howard Transit’s Green Route, which is the most heavily used line, providing service to Columbia Mall, Howard Community College and Howard County General Hospital.

The total cost for the project is $4.7 million, with $3.7 coming from the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program, and the remainder coming in matching contributions from project participants.

The project also includes funding for the installation of an inductive charging system, an information station, a Transit Shelter, and advertising and promotion. The inductive charging system, which looks like a large pad that the buses will park on top of, has proven successful in Europe---but has not yet been used on bus systems in America.

By Washington Post editors  | November 12, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland, Traffic and Transportation  
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