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More than half of the fleet’s 49 vehicles are ready for retirement after ten year’s service. 13 New XDE40s are ready to replace the oldest of those.

Later on? Electric buses will be coming, by the sound of it.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2015/05/13/new-dc-circulator-buses-will-have-usb-ports-and-better-air-conditioning/

"In the long run, the DC Circulator will transition to fully electric buses, Handsfield says. They are more expensive, but they make up their cost in fuel savings, he says.

“They are better for the environment and quiet enough that you can hear what the person next to you is saying,” he says.

So what’s the downside? The electric buses can only go about 80 miles on a full charge, while diesel buses can travel roughly 350 miles on a full tank, says David Warren, director of sustainable transportation at New Flyer, which makes both kinds of buses. As a result, electric buses have to “power up” between routes, pausing to charge at electric gantries, which look like low-slung street lights.

Before electric buses can be deployed for the Circulator fleet, D.C. has to set up mobile charging stations and a garage for overnight charging, Handsfield says.

“It’s a logistical challenge, but we think it’s worth it,” he says.

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  • 2 years later...

DC Circulator has finally retired its oldest Van Hools. They were becoming very unreliable (in part because of poor maintenance done by private company who runs the system). The 26 replacement buses are 2017 XD40s numbered 2101-2126. They have the standard Cummins L9 and Allison B400R, and also feature a BRT roofline.

Later this year 14 Proterra Catalyst BE40 buses will be delivered (as expansion units). 

 

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