As early as this year, Houstonians can expect to see a new line of buses roaming the streets of Houston. In a $22 million deal, approved by board members this past November, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) has contracted with Nova Bus for a fleet of 20 electric buses.
In an effort to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent, as well as to purchase only zero-emission buses by 2030, METRO has purchased 20 battery-powered Nova Bus LFSe+ model buses with the option of 20 more. Nova Bus will manufacture the battery-powered vehicles in a factory in Plassburgh, New York, as the first of a fleet of 1,300. The purchase marks the single largest for Nova Bus in its history.
“This LFSe+ contract is our most important so far in the U.S.,” said Nova Bus president, Martin Larose. “We are proud to continue our significant contribution in electrification of transportation in North America by introducing these zero-emission buses in Houston.”
The first line of 20 buses are expected to hit local streets, running on 402 Bellaire Express and 28 OST-Wayside routes, as soon as this year. Each vehicle holds 68 passengers.
In other electronic news, organizers of the Fourth of July festival in Galveston have decided to put on a special drone light show instead of fireworks according to Fox 26 News. In a recent vote, park board members decided on a illuminated drone spectacle over fireworks, that which would see up to a thousand synchronized drone syncopated with music.
“We’re doing something unique, something different,” said Chief Tourism Officer for Galveston Island, Michael Woody. “What we’re hoping is, we find a way to do something spectacular. It could be a new normal for coastal cities to deal with those environmental challenges.”