battery-electric buses

The bus livery on Mountain Rides’ incoming battery-electric buses—shown here in a preliminary elevation drawing—should look similar to the current Valley Route buses. 

Mountain Rides Transportation Authority has officially acquired 0.75 acres of land in Bellevue’s light-industrial district to expand its southernmost facility, Mountain Rides Executive Director Wally Morgus confirmed in an interview last week.

The property—located in Southern Belle Business Park on the corner of Gannet Road and Clover Street—will accommodate up to eight battery-powered electric buses.

The land cost $232,000, Morgus said. The property acquisition was financed by a Federal Transit Administration grant along with over $45,000 in capital contributions from the cities of Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey and Bellevue.

The long-term plan for Mountain Rides is to bring 10 electric buses to Bellevue and eight to Ketchum over the next seven years, Morgus said. The Wood River Valley will see its first four e-buses next summer, with June the anticipated delivery date.

“The e-buses will look very similar to buses on the Valley Route now, except they will read ‘Zero Emissions’ on top,” Mountain Rides Community Development Director Kim MacPherson said.

Those new e-buses are not to be confused with three new diesel buses added to Mountain Rides’ fleet this past week.

“The [diesel bus] acquisition was part of our schedule—we have to plan years in advance—but they will be our last three [diesel buses],” MacPherson said. “They will go to our Valley Route, and Ketchum will receive those larger, more comfortable Valley Route buses.”

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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