Lynx receives federal grant for electric Lymmo buses

Lynx free Downtown Orlando buses are about to go electric. 

The public transportation agency got notice on Friday that a federal grant was approved to help pay the $8 million price tag for eight electric buses. 

The grant will cover about 50 percent of the cost, the remaining $4 million will come from several sources, some of which are taxpayer-funded.

Lynx officials say the first benefit of going electric is fuel savings.

“These buses in a diesel environment are spending 104,000 gallons of diesel fuel every year, so first off, we won’t be using that diesel anymore,” said William Slot, chief innovation officer at Lynx.

The second benefit is cutting emissions.

“Roughly 37 pounds of particular matter will no longer go into the atmosphere,” Slot said.

The third is noise reduction.

“So, we’re not gonna have that noise pollution component of the bus running down the road with a diesel engine,” Slot said.

The fourth benefit is cost savings.

“We expect to see a maintenance improvement in cost because there are less moving parts in the cost of maintaining the bus, and we’re expecting cheaper cost per mile to operate the vehicle,” Slot said.

We took the plan to Lymmo riders, most support the cost savings.

“Anyway they can save money long-term, I think that would be great,” said John Patterson, Lymmo rider.

“Save gas, I think that’s good, anytime you can save money is good,” said Barnett Pierce, Lymmo rider.

Leslie Carr thinks the buses will pay for themselves.

“Eventually when they switch over, it’ll be cheaper overall for everybody," Carr said.

“It’s for this generation and the next, and the idea, of course, that we are not going to be emitting those emissions into our atmosphere, and we’ll have a quiet bus system that will move people around efficiently and effectively,” Slot said.

The electric buses will go into service in 2020, according to Lynx.