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County Board Chairman proposes modernizing MCTS by purchasing battery electric buses

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb Sr. has proposed modernizing the Milwaukee County Transit System by purchasing up to 15 battery electric buses and beginning a transition away from fossil fuels.

On Thursday, the Committee on Finance and Audit unanimously recommended including Lipscomb's proposal in the 2019 county budget.

"Adding battery electric buses begins the transition of modernizing our fleet for the renewable energy future and away from the fossil fuels of the past. Battery electric buses are cleaner and quieter than traditional diesel buses, which is good for riders, other road users, and people who live along bus routes. Electric buses will cost Milwaukee County taxpayers less than diesel buses over their lifetime, and they avoid the unexpected costs associated with the volatility in pricing of diesel fuel," said Lipscomb.

Lipscomb's amendment would ensure that the 11 buses to be purchased for the Bus Rapid Transit project, currently under development, would be clean electric buses. Four additional buses would be considered for possible use on the Green, Red, or Purple bus routes.

The earliest that the new battery electric buses could be in operation is 2021.

The public is invited to weigh in on the 2019 Milwaukee County budget at the County Board's annual public hearing on October 29 at 6:00PM. The public hearing will take place at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee.

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