Construction begins on WMATA’s second zero-emission bus facility

Posted: 9 March 2023 | | No comments yet

In line with WMATA’s sustainability goals, the Bladensburg Garage’s new zero-emission bus facility will house 150 electric vehicles and will be complemented by 10 additional battery electric buses by 2024.

Construction begins on WMATA's second zero-emission bus facility

Credit: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/ Metro) has announced that construction is underway on a new, state-of-the-art bus facility at its Bladensburg Garage.

Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Randy Clarke, has laid out plans for WMATA’s second zero-emission bus facility, which will open with 150 electric buses, while phasing out buses that are not zero-emission in subsequent years.

“Our investment in new, modern electric ready bus garages is the future of public transportation,” said Randy Clarke. “Zero-emission buses are a game changer for Metro and for the surrounding communities by providing clean transportation that will help improve the region’s air quality and make the environment healthier for everyone.”

In addition, WMATA has announced that is has awarded contracts to New Flyer and Nova Bus to each provide five battery electric buses by 2024. They will join two other electric buses purchased by Metro through an FTA Low-No Grant.

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The garage, first built in 1962, will be re-constructed to include environmental and infrastructure improvements to support WMATA’s transition to zero-emission buses. The 17-acre site off Bladensburg Road in Northeast DC will be transformed into a new, modern facility housing 300 buses, approximately half of them all-electric.

Construction of the facility also supports Metro’s commitment to sustainability and equity in transportation. The Bladensburg Garage serves communities in Washington, DC, and Maryland, including several in Opportunity Zones created to spur investment in economically distressed areas. The project will create new construction jobs with a goal of more than 18% of the contract going to small, minority and disadvantaged businesses.

The bus facility will be built in a three-phased demolition and construction process while remaining open. Nearly 500 employees work on-site overseeing bus repairs, maintenance, inspections and other operational needs. The plans also include additional parking spaces to accommodate all employees, freeing up street parking in the surrounding area.

Integrating zero-emission infrastructure into Metro’s new and existing garages aligns with the authority’s zero-emission bus plan to transition it to an entire zero-emission fleet of more than 1,500 buses by 2045. Furthermore, Metro will be evaluating an option to purchase up to 100 more electric buses.