Electric Bus Program

We're Driving Toward a Cleaner Tomorrow

​Many years ago MetroLINK made a commitment to be a sustainable leader in the Quad Cities. We understand that the decisions we make and the way we operate will impact the environment for years to come. Since 2002, we've transitioned nearly 80% our fixed-route fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas. As we continue to seek the latest alternative fuel technologies and reduce vehicle emissions, we've welcomed three (3) all electric fixed-route buses into our fleet. An additional five (5) electric buses have been ordered and are expected to be delivered in Spring 2019. 


Learn more about the Proterra Battery Electric Buses at Proterra.com

You can catch a ride on an all new, battery-electric bus exclusively on the Route 20. Check out the next advancement in environmentally friendly technology and the best ride in town today! Metro YouTube!

What’s new on the Proterra battery-electric bus fleet:

  • Zero. That’s zero emissions.

  • Quietest ride on the market

  • Quantum wheelchair securement system

  • State of the art camera system with 4K technology and 360 degree camera

  • Infotainment (video display)

How They Work


Powered by state-of-the-art batteries under the bus floor, our electric buses are expected to travel for approximately 7-10 hours before they need recharging. Actual range of the buses is dependent on factors such as weather conditions, grade changes on the route, and passenger load. The buses can fully recharge at Metro's Operations and Maintenance Center in 2-4 hours. 


The carbon composite body of the buses minimizes repairs and maximizes life. Steel-body buses often experience corrosion throughout their average 12-year lifespan. However, the carbon composite body of the electric bus is expected to stay in continuous service for years longer. The electric drivetrain was also designed with 30% fewer parts, which  means fewer maintenance repairs and replacements over the lifetime of the bus. 


The electric buses are exceptionally quite and create virtually no noise when idling. In motion, they're whisper quiet at 57 dB and operate below a normal conversation level. 


The electric buses will produce zero tailpipe emissions. The table below shows an estimated lifetime emissions reductions that are expected by transitioning a diesel bus to all electric. Metro also has a unique charging opportunity with its recently-constructed Operations and Maintenance Center (OMC). The OMC has a rooftop solar array with over 1,300 photovoltaic panels, which will further offset energy costs and fossil fuel reductions of the electric buses.

Annual Tailpipe Emissions Comparison (Electric vs. Diesel)

Source: Proterra, GREET Model Fleet Footprint Calculator, & EPA Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator

Emissions Type

Proterra Electric Bus

Standard Diesel Bus

Greenhouse Gases (lbs)



Carbon Dioxide (lbs)



Methane (lbs)



Carbon Monoxide (lbs)



Nitrogen Oxide (lbs)



Hydrocarbon (lbs)



Particulate Matter (lbs)



Black Carbon (lbs)



Frequently Asked Questions

What route (or routes) will the electric buses operate on, and why? 

The initial three (3) buses are currently in operation on Metro's Route 20 Blue. This decision was made based on factors that impact range on an electric bus (length of route, grade change, average ridership load, and hours of operation). View a Route 20 Blue map and schedule. MetroLINK is continuing to evaluate which route(s) will be served by the five (5) additional buses scheduled for delivery in Spring 2019. 

How will the electric buses change my ride? 

The buses will be similar in size, shape, and ride as Metro's other 40' compressed natural gas and diesel buses. Riders may notice that the buses are quieter, but otherwise no differences should be expected from a rider's perspective. 

How did Metro fund the electric buses? 

The three (3) initial buses were paid for primarily by a combination of Federal Transit Administration Section 5308 (Clean Fuels) and 5339 (Buses and Bus Facilities) funding, in addition to matching funds from the State of Illinois and MetroLINK. The five (5) buses scheduled for delivery in Spring 2019 are being paid for with Federal Transit Administration Section 5307 and 5339 (Buses and Bus Facilities) funding, in addition to matching funds from the State of Illinois. 

Read all about it!


See what the local media has to say.

QC Online

Media Links

Press release
Media B Roll
Bus Photo 1
Bus Photo 2