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RACINE – The long-anticipated, shiny new Racine Transit (RYDE Racine) battery-electric buses went into service Wednesday morning with a big send-off.

The nine buses – one-third of the RYDE Racine fleet – were dedicated at the Corrine Owens-Reid Transit Center, 1417 State St., with speeches, applause and the cutting of a bright green ribbon. Gov. Tony Evers, Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson, Alder Mollie Jones and Rep. Greta Neubauer were among the event’s speakers.

Mayor Sidelined

Governor Tony Evers speaks at this morning’s ceremony. – Credit: Paul Holley

Racine Mayor Cory Mason was unable to participate in person because he was in quarantine after learning Monday that he had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Instead, he delivered welcoming remarks via a video hookup from his home.

Following the ribbon-cutting, visitors were invited to hop aboard the new buses for a brief demonstration trip.

The new buses replace nine, older diesel-powered models. In addition to dramatically reducing air pollution, the buses are expected to save about 60,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, said Transit Director Trevor Jung.

Alderperson Mollie Jones speaks Wednesday. – Credit: Paul Holley
The new fleet awaits its first shift. – Credit: Paul Holley
Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson speaks at the event. – Credit: Paul Holley

Grant Recipient

Racine Transit purchased the vehicles, manufactured by Proterra, with a $6.19 million Volkswagen Transit Capital Assistance Program grant and a $3.18 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Authority Low or No Emission Program.

Credit: Paul Holley

RYDE Racine: Wisconsin’s Largest Electric Fleet… For Now

For now, at least, RYDE Racine has the distinction of operating Wisconsin’s largest fleet of battery-electric buses. Metro Transit – Madison’s public transportation system – is adding its own battery-electric buses over the coming year.

RYDE on, Racine, RYDE on. – Credit: Paul Holley

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...