Column: New Era For Public Transportation

February 18, 2022

[Opinion column written by MP Dennis Lister III]

Ten electric buses arrived on Wednesday, marking an exciting new era for public transportation in Bermuda. Environmentally friendly and designed to better navigate the islands’ narrow roads, the new fleet of buses is another step forward in ensuring our people have safe and reliable public transportation.

Additionally, the lower floors and kneeling suspension provide easier access for those with mobility issues. The improved air quality means the bus operators will be working in conditions that align with better health. The public will be happy to know that the cost of maintaining the new buses is 50 percent lower than maintaining a diesel vehicle fleet, resulting in greater fiscal benefit.

New electric buses Bermuda Feb 2022 (1)

As part of the Government’s economic recovery plan, interim charging stations at Dockyard, St. George and Fort Langton bus depots are being constructed to support the initial 30 buses until the permanent charging infrastructure is complete. These charging stations will be fed from existing BELCO circuits and completed in March 2022.

Now that the buses are here, local staff will receive extensive training under the guidance of an engineer from Golden Dragon Bus Company, who will be based in Bermuda for three months supporting the team. Furthermore, the Department’s technicians will participate in electric vehicle training online via the Institute for Motoring Industry, UK and locally via the Bermuda College.

Bus Bermuda Feb 2022 (3)

In addition to the new electric buses, the Department of Public Transportation (DPT) has recruited additional bus operators to ensure that we have the human resources required to provide a reliable and consistent public bus service to our community.

Transitioning the entire bus fleet from diesel to electric is envisioned to take over ten years. The permanent charging infrastructure will accommodate the whole fleet. There will be a total of 30 charging stations servicing 60 bus bays, a 450 kilovolt-amps rooftop solar PV array and a battery energy storage system at the Fort Langton bus depot.

Undoubtedly, Bermuda is leading the region in providing cleaner, quieter, and more cost-effective public transportation for our residents and visitors.

And this is just the beginning!

We are grateful to our partners in improvement, particularly the BIU, PTB management and the bus operators who assisted us in paving the way to a more sustainable future.

Bermuda is on the rise beyond the pandemic, and we invite you to take the ride with us on our new environmentally friendly electric buses as we head toward a better tomorrow!

- Dennis Lister III


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Comments (2)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Transitioning the entire bus fleet from diesel to electric is envisioned to take over ten years.”

    Given that we currently have buses on the road that are over 20 years old, that seems an understatement.

    I note that no one has said whether these buses are BIU approved. Is this going to start anther industrial action without warning?

    What about technical support after 3 months? I don’t see anything about new technical staff or retraining of existing technical staff.

    Is this a real initiative or a publicity stunt?

  2. Me says:

    But how many years will it take them to create a profitable schedule please in our lifetime