Metro board approves plan for zero emissions bus fleet by 2045

Metro’s board has approved a plan to overhaul its bus fleet over the next 25 years. Under the plan, the transit agency will buy only zero-emission electric buses starting by 2030; by 2045, such buses will be the only ones on the streets.

“At this moment, this is a huge success for where we have been and where we’re going,” said board member Stephanie Gidigbi Jenkins ahead of a vote on the plan.

Metro will buy only lower-emission and electric buses during its next big purchase for new fleet vehicles under the plan.

Not everyone was on the board was on board with the plan: Member Michael Goldman, who represents Maryland, voted against it, saying he feels the timeline should be sped up significantly.

His concern is that the agency will lag behind all other regional bus operators when it comes to making this move to zero-emission vehicles.

“Metro must be a leader in moving to an all-electric fleet; instead it will be an also-ran in this region,” Goldman said.

Matt Letourneau, who represents Loudoun County, Virginia, said he believes the proposed timeline is reasonable because of all that needs to happen to prepare this move.

“The reality is, the amount of infrastructure required just to make this a reality is going to be expensive and requires quite a bit of advance planning,” Letourneau said.

Board member and D.C. Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure Lucinda Babers said she understands many are disappointed this transition won’t happen faster.

“There’s absolutely nothing that prevents us in this resolution from moving quicker,” Babers said.

During its Thursday meeting, the board also voted to permanently extend its Late-Night Service Program, which provides help paying for Lyft rides for health care and hospitality workers who go to and from work outside of Metro’s hours. The continuation of the program will depend on available funding.

Around 380 people have signed up for the program and have been paid back for 7,584 trips, according to Metro.

New Metro hours

Starting July 18, Metro will be open until midnight, seven days a week.

The new schedule will be:

  • Monday-Friday: 5 a.m.-midnight
  • Saturday: 7 a.m.-midnight
  • Sunday: 8 a.m.-midnight

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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