Sunday, April 2, 2023

Miami-Dade: 175 million generating debate for electric buses

In particular, on January 17, the commission gave the green light at a regular meeting to award a $175 million contract to the company New Flyer of America Inc. Largest manufacturer of buses in the US and Canada. The only vote against was Commissioner Keon L. McGee, who always voted on the train.

according to the contract approved Citizens Independent Transport TrustNew Flyer will manufacture 100 electric buses, provide 50 chargers for the terminal, two charging systems along the route, spare parts and training courses for personnel involved in this modern mode of transport.

The first pilot bus will be delivered in October 2023 after undergoing relevant tests. This will include two others that will be tested for 150 days before mass production is ordered. Beginning in July 2024, the county will receive two buses per week until 100 units are completed in July 2025.


Despite voting in favor of the contract, some commissioners complained to the media that they had not been informed of a fire on one of New Flyer’s electric buses on July 23 in Hamden, Connecticut.

According to preliminary reports from the ongoing investigation, the crashed bus, which cost more than $900,000, had a failure that did not allow it to charge the battery or function, and the fire spontaneously broke out in maintenance facilities awaiting supervision from the manufacturer. Only caught fire. Firefighters were unable to extinguish the fire and chose to let it burn completely in a controlled manner.

While the investigation continues, out of an abundance of caution, CTransit, the Connecticut company that operates the 12 40-foot electric buses made by New Flyer, has taken the rest of the fleet out of service.

It’s logical to think that after the county’s experience with cryptocurrency company FTX, whose bankruptcy jeopardized the peace and prosperity plan promoted by Mayor Levin Cava, Miami-Dade contracts are viewed through a magnifying glass and with suspicion.

Mike Hernandez of the consultancy LSN Partners, as spokesperson for the New Flyer company, spoke with DIARIO LAS AMÉRICAS and shared a letter detailing the incident and the entire bidding process that the company secured versus the three-year contract . BYD Coach & Bus, LLC, Another company interested in the contract was rejected.

According to the letter addressed to Mayor Daniela Levin Cava, the fire is being investigated by experts from various state and federal agencies, adding, “The New Flyer is working closely with CityTransit and the Connecticut Department of Transportation to investigate this incident.” Which is very unusual”.

It also highlights that “New Flyer has delivered more than 500 battery electric vehicles across the country – which have completed 13 million miles of service without incident.”

Juan Mendieta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works, told a program on Radio Actualidad on station 1040 that any type of bus can catch fire. He assured that “a general modification is being done in the contract buses. Before receiving them, our engineers go to the factory and will be present observing the manufacturing process. The buses are then taken to Pennsylvania where they go through a very rigorous testing process in real-world conditions to ensure they function properly.

Mendieta clarified that the damaged model is not what the county is going to receive. In addition, he said that in Miami-Dade they are already using electric buses manufactured by the Protera company.


The other bone of contention is the cost of each bus. A fuel bus costs around $500,000 and can be used without the need to build a special infrastructure for its operation. While the cost of these electric buses is more than 17 lakh per unit. It will be necessary to analyze whether it is justified to pay more of these 1.2 million for each bus, exploited during the useful life of the diesel bus, including the cost of fuel and maintenance.

A Columbia University study done to analyze New York transportation concluded that the lifetime cost—about 12 years—of a diesel bus that costs $500,000 is about $1.4 million. That is, $300,000 less than the amount the county would pay for each vehicle. The cost difference could be even higher if the cost of maintenance and electricity that this electric bus would consume over 12 years is included.


“The cost is a bit higher than I would like, but they are electric buses. This is what the mayor wanted to protect the environment. I believe we should have a combination of electric and conventional buses – combustion – Commissioner René García Indicated, who said that his team had contacted New Flyers Co. to find out the details of the contract.”They have sold buses all over the country and have had no problems.”


In theory, these buses would be procured from subsidized funds. Miami-Dade already has $56 million in funding for this fiscal year. Some 18 million were provided by the federal government and another 38 million by state governments. Under the contract, the county will pay as it receives each bus. There shouldn’t be a large local outlay as Miami-Dade plans to apply each year for federal and state grants to cover the full cost of acquiring the buses. But, there is no 100% guarantee that they will get the subsidy, explained Commissioner Garcia.

On the other hand, there are various programs at the federal level that provide tax credits to counties, cities, and private companies that commit to so-called clean energy. According to Garcia, Miami-Dade will also be able to benefit from those programs.

ecological calculation

If the county had gone for diesel vehicles, many programs designed to encourage conversion to clean energy would have been more difficult to access. though outlay first of all While $175 million may sound insane, compared to the $50 million a similar fleet of diesel buses would cost, the reality is that the county would have to pay for conventional buses in full and, on top of that, the associated costs of operating said fleet. fuel for.

In this calculation, the environmental damage caused by running 100 internal combustion buses cannot be absent, which according to the scientists, each exceeds the 800 tons of CO2 emissions produced by electric buses during their useful life.

“If something happens at the state or federal level and these funds are not received, the county will be forced to use local taxpayer money to pay for the green buses,” Garcia said.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news