COMO Connect in the City of Columbia, Missouri has made a historic decision that secures it a spot among America's most elite transit providers. Beginning September 1, 2015, COMO Connect will take delivery of their first of four battery electric transit buses from the global electric vehicle leader BYD Coach & Bus. "This is a historic moment for both the city of Columbia and the state of Missouri," said Mike Matthes, City Manager of Columbia. "This decision by the City of Columbia and COMO Connect is yet another example of the forward-thinking attitude towards technology and transportation that contributes to making Columbia great. I could not be more proud."
The first bus will be a full-size 40' transit bus used to experiment on a number of different routes around the city, namely the #1 Black Core Connector, one of the city's longest and most popular bus routes. The next three buses that will be delivered to start service December 1, 2015, will be BYD's 30' Electric low floor transit bus that will be used for commuter shuttles, used on COMO Connect, that operate through Columbia's smaller neighborhood routes, including the downtown orbiter. "Our decision to go electric extends far beyond cleaner air and doing the right thing," said Drew Brooks, Multi-Modal Manager of the City of Columbia. "These buses are incredibly quiet, and will drastically reduce noise pollution along the routes. Additionally, they will save Columbia hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and maintenance costs and enable us to begin other improvements to our system even sooner." The buses will be built by California's BYD Coach & Bus, the world's foremost leader in electric bus technology. "We could not be more excited to be working with COMO Connect, and the city of Columbia," said BYD Vice President, Macy Neshati. "Cities like Columbia, with such a picturesque downtown and an involved community really appreciate the value of a well organized transit system. I am excited to see them join the leading edge of transit technology by purchasing these buses that will make their system cleaner and quieter for everybody."
BYD's Battery Electric bus employs many advanced technologies developed in-house by a staff of more than 15,000 R&D engineers including the BYD Iron-Phosphate battery, which boasts the only 12-year-battery warranty in the industry. Combined with BYD's proprietary in-wheel hub motors and regenerative braking system, the BYD battery electric bus offers the lowest life cycle cost of ownership. The BYD electric bus delivers a host of operational and environmental benefits for public transit riders, bus operators and residents of the community – it is very quiet and ensures a comfortable ride without vibrations, jerks or the noise associated with the conventional buses and combustion engines. The bus can also drive for more than 155 miles even in heavy city traffic on a single charge. As of April 1st, 2015, BYD bus fleets have completed greater than 50 million miles "in revenue service" and have been evaluated by more than 150 cities in 36 countries around the world. To date, BYD has built over 5,000 electric buses globally, making it by far the most popular electric transit vehicle on the planet.
ABOUT COMO Connect:
COMO Connect has been publicly-owned since 1965 in Columbia, Missouri and operates under the city's Public Works Department. The system provides nearly 2 million rides a year to local customers and tourists in Columbia, including a downtown orbiter, commuter routes, shuttle service for the University of Missouri campus, and routes to special events like University of Missouri football games and annual festivals like the Roots N Blues N Barbeque music festival and the True False film fest. In 2014, the city rebranded COMO Connect to its current name and expanded service to over 56 square miles and later evening service throughout the week.
ABOUT BYD Bus & Coach:
BYD Bus & Coach is an American manufacturing company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of BYD Company Ltd, the largest domestic auto-manufacturer and electric-bus manufacturer in China. BYD is a publicly traded company, with the Hong Kong listed stock 60% of which is owned by U.S. investors, and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway as the largest single shareholder at 9.9%. BYD Motors established its headquarters in downtown Los Angeles in October 2011 and has now hired over 180 Americans to primarily support BYD's US electric vehicle business.
COMO Connect: Drew Brooks, (573)874-7281, firstname.lastname@example.org
BYD: Matt Jurjevich, (213)400-3383, email@example.com