Five new all electric buses and charging stations will be added to the Blacksburg Transit (BT) fleet over the next two years.

Blacksburg Transit is the public transportation system serving the Virginia Tech community and a central partner in Virginia Tech’s alternative transportation efforts.

BT provides public transportation to Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff; Blacksburg citizens; and partnering communities within the New River Valley.

The agency collaborates closely with Virginia Tech Parking and Transportation to serve the transportation needs of the Virginia Tech campus and local communities. The service is pre-paid for all Virginia Tech students and employees who present their Hokie Passport upon boarding.

Funding for the $6.9 million electric bus project was provided by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and other federal and local sources. The new all-electric buses will replace five conventional diesel buses starting fall 2021.

BT operates 69 buses that serve 18 routes in Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Passengers can also use BT to make connections to other bus lines that serve such locations as Radford, Roanoke, and Washington, D.C.

“As transportation providers we’re always looking for innovative and effective ways to help improve the quality of life in our community. These five electric buses and fast charging stations will help us reduce our carbon footprint while at the same time reduce our operational costs and dependence on fossil fuels,” said BT Director Tom Fox.

BT recently was named 2019 Outstanding Transit System for North America by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). BT earned the award in the small urban system category characterized by annual ridership of 4 million or less. This category  includes bus and rail transportation systems in North America.

According to BT, ridership over the past three years has increased by 33 percent.

“We’re proud to partner with BT to provide safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly transportation for the Virginia Tech community. The new electric buses will be an exciting addition to the area’s public transportation infrastructure,” said Virginia Tech Parking and Transportation Director Jeri Baker.

For questions or comments, please contact Ken Tucker at ktucker@blacksburg.gov or 540-443-1591.

Virginia Tech offers a variety of alternative transportation options that can help all members of the university community that commute save time and money and reduce their carbon footprint. Click here to learn more.

BT future electric bus
BT will operate electric buses similar to the one photographed during testing above. Photo credit: Blacksburg Transit.