STA giving all-electric buses a tryout

A shiny, new, all-electric Chinese bus is running on Spokane routes this month under a special demonstration through a U.S. branch of BYD Co. Ltd.

Spokane Transit Authority was invited to test the zero-emission bus as part of a statewide evaluation of battery power.

On Friday, it quietly pulled away from its boarding area at the STA Plaza in downtown, a sharp contrast to the diesels and hybrids that make up the STA fleet.

As it rolled up North Monroe Street, the driver and passengers gave mixed reviews. “It’s pretty cool,” passenger Adrian Lerma said. “I’m excited about zero-emissions electric buses.” Other passengers had complaints about the minimal padding on the seats and the different locations for buttons to request stops. “The seats are cheap,” one passenger said.

The driver explained that STA would order its own package of features if it decided to buy the buses.

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