AUSTIN, Texas – A new breed of electric Capital Metro buses will soon take over the Austin area.
Starting on Tuesday, CapMetro is testing out electric buses and people are welcome to hop on for free during the next two weeks.
Austinites will start seeing the electric vehicles rolling around the downtown Tuesday morning. The buses will be identified by the "battery-operated" signs in big letters on the sides.
CapMetro said they have been looking at going electric for a while and this is the first step in that direction. Money has been set aside for the next five years to update facilities that support electric buses.
According to transportation officials, electric buses are more sustainable in the long run and provide a much quieter ride.
However, every single one of the new vehicles will have to be tested first.
"One of the things about battery electric buses is that you have to be sensitive to how far they can operate because you can only go as far as your charge. We know air conditioning systems will draw down the batteries a good bit so, part of why we brought them in the months of August and September, is that because we want to see how they do in the heat," said Dottie Watkins with Capital Metro.
Last month, CapMetro tested out autonomous buses along 3rd Street.
The buses will also be tested out in other parts of the city during a week and a half demo period.
The official launch will be at Republic Square at 10 a.m.