The City of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities, operating as StarTran Bus Service, has purchased ten 10.6-meter Xcelsior CHARGE from New Flyer. Each bus is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100-160 tons per year, compared to a traditional clean diesel bus, according to the manufacturer.

The manufacturer has delivered nearly 30 buses to StarTran since 2014, beginning with compressed natural gas buses and recently adding zero-emission New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE buses to the StarTran fleet.

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4 million dollars fundings from FTA to StarTran

The zero-emission bus purchase furthers the city’s commitment to sustainability through greenhouse gas reduction in public transit, and is comprised of two orders, both supported with Federal Transit Administration Low or No-Emission funding. A $1.45 million federal grant in 2017 supported the city’s purchase of its first four electric buses, while a $2.6 million federal grant in 2019 supported the replacement of six older diesel buses with new electric models, New Flyer highlights.

Xcelsior Charge, wide range of battery size

The electric bus Xcelsior Charge by New Flyer is available in 35-foot, 40-foot and 60-foot versions (10.6, 12 and 18-meter respectively). Battery packs can carry from 100 kWh to 818 kWh of electricity. It is not specified which is the option chosen by StarTran. The standard driveline is a 160 kW Siemens ELFA2 Electric Drive System (while axle are by MAN), but New Flyer also cooperates with ZF: the transport associations of several major U.S. cities have ordered 100 buses from the Xcelsior Charge model series equipped with ZF’s AxTrax AVE electric portal axle

StarTran leader in alternative fuels

StarTran is the public transit bus system in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is the only mass transit carrier in the city of Lincoln, supporting over 2 million rides per year. In 2019, StarTran saw the largest ridership increase in among urban transit systems in the state of Nebraska, as reported by the FTA. StarTran has been nationally acknowledged as a leader in the utilization and promotion of alternative fuels, with fuel program including CNG, biodiesel, and ethanol.

StarTran, from CNG to battery-powered buses

Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird already celebrated in late February the arrival of the first bus. “A major part of my administration’s Resilient Lincoln initiative is to ensure that our city is building a climate smart future,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “It is now more important than ever before to take action locally to protect our environment for future generations.”

“StarTran has been an outstanding sustainability leader in the Midwestern U.S. for the better part of a decade,” said Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer. “Through the adoption of low-emission CNG buses, followed by zero-emission, it has set the pace for building a more livable community through reduced emissions and renewable energy initiatives. Today, we celebrate another milestone achieved for the City of Lincoln.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome the arrival of our first zero-emission bus to StarTran,” said Mike Davis, Transit Manager with StarTran. “We have counted on New Flyer buses for several years, first with low-emission CNG buses and now with the battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE”


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