Blacksburg Transit     

540-443-1500 (M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

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Stops 2172 Montgomery/Cambria Ebnd & 2173 Cambria/Church Nbnd

Type: Route

Cause: Construction

Effect: No Service

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HGD/HXP route experiencing mechanical issues. Expect significant delays. Timechecks Newman :05, Ascot :20, Burruss :35 and Oak Lane :50

Type: Route

Cause: Maintenance

Effect: Significant Delays

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BT's new electric buses launched on 4/22.

Blacksburg Transit launched five battery electric buses in honor of Earth Day on Thursday April 22nd. The all electric buses, a first for the system, will replace five conventional diesel powered buses. BT is one of the first systems in the state to purchase them.

According to BT Director Tom Fox, “These buses are just the beginning of what will someday be a fully electric fleet of buses. Our goal is that in three to four years, half of the entire fleet will be electric and we will be 100% electric in about ten years depending on funding. This is a large step towards reducing our carbon footprint while also reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”

On the first day of service, the buses will operate on the Corporate Research Center (CRC) and Progress St (PRO) routes. All buses servicing these two routes on Thursday will be electric.

BT was one of three transit agencies awarded funding for electric buses in 2019 from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the Department of Environmental Quality. Additional financial support for the purchase of the vehicles received from the Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech further supports their ongoing climate protection initiatives.

Frequently Asked Quesitons Regarding Electric Buses

  • How many electric buses did BT receive?

    • BT received five electric buses that replaced five 2009 conventional diesel buses.  3 are 35-foot  and 2 are 60-foot buses.

  • Is Blacksburg ahead of the curve in innovative transportation in Virginia…an early adopter of innovative transportation?

    • BT is one of three transit agencies that were awarded funding for electric buses (Alexandria Transit and Hampton Roads Transit are the others).  The electric buses funded by these grants are the first in Virginia.  BT has been an early adopter of technology in general, examples include: a mobile app for customers that was developed in-house years ago, automatic passenger counters on the buses, and an on-going partnership with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on transportation research projects.

  • Are there plans for additional electric buses at BT?

    • BT is planning to convert the entire fleet of buses to all electric. In fact BT is projecting that half of the entire fleet of buses will be electric in three to four years, and be 100% electric in about ten years, dependent on continued grant funding.

  • How much are electric buses compared to conventional diesel buses?

    • A typical diesel 35 foot bus costs about $600,000 while the electric version is about $900,000, or about 50% more. While the initial purchase costs are more expensive than a traditional diesel bus, the real savings will come from the life cycle costs. BT anticipates saving approx. $125,000 in operating and maintenance costs over the 12-year life span of an electric bus.

  • How did BT pay for these all electric buses?

    • Funding to purchase the five buses and associated infrastructure was through grants from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ funds are part of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Trust) that the commonwealth received as part of its settlement.  DRPT provided 57% of the project funding (with state and state-controlled federal funds), DEQ accounted for 41% and Virginia Tech contributed the local matching funds of 2%.  The total project cost was $6.9 million.
  • How far can an electric bus travel on one charge? 

    • The manufacturer lists ranges between 185 and 225 miles for the 35 foot buses, but as the saying goes, “Your mileage will vary.” Key impacts on mileage are: operator driving behavior, route grade profile or how many hills, temperature and other factors. On BT’s shorter routes a bus will be able to stay out all day but longer routes may not.