“Electrify Lawrence”: City of Lawrence Deploys Second Round of Battery Electric Buses

May 23, 2024

Authored by Shannon Russell, Lead Associate

CTE partnered with the City of Lawrence, Kansas for a successful award under the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) 2021 Low or No Emission Vehicle Program (Low-No). Under this award, Lawrence Transit received funding to replace two diesel buses from its fleet with two 40’ 686kWh GILLIG battery electric buses (BEBs), marking the second phase of the “Electrify Lawrence” Transit BEB deployment project. Lawrence Transit received these two GILLIG BEBs in January 2024 and CTE traveled to Lawrence in early February to conduct validation testing on both buses. Both buses were deployed into service in March 2024. CTE will now track KPIs on these buses for a year of service.

With the addition of these two new electric buses, Lawrence Transit now has seven BEBs on site. Lawrence’s first five GILLIG BEBs were deployed in 2022 during the first phase of “Electrify Lawrence”. Four additional battery electric vehicles will be deployed in 2025 during the third phase of this project. These BEBs will eliminate the emissions that would otherwise be generated by diesel buses and be harmful to Lawrence Transit riders, Lawrence residents, and University of Kansas (KU) students and faculty. CTE is working directly with Lawrence to manage this project and provide technical support and expertise in route modeling, and bus and charger equipment procurement processes.

Unique Features on Lawrence Transit’s Electric Buses

Lawrence Transit has partnered with local artists to design the wraps for its electric buses. Each phase of the project features a different artist's work. David Gnojek's designs on the first deployment focused on electricity, transportation, and the environment. Phase 2 and 3 buses feature Indigenous artists. The current buses showcase Lawrence and Kansas landmarks by Iris Cliff. Tokeya Richardson’s work will be featured on the third set of electric buses and will highlight Indigenous people’s culture and worldview.

In addition, poems by finalists of the Lawrence Transit Poet Laureate Program will be displayed inside all of Lawrence Transit’s electric buses for the duration of 2024. This initiative celebrates local talent and allows riders to connect with art while enjoying a clean, quiet ride.

Lawrence 100% Electric Bus

Project partners

CTE is maintaining close collaboration with project partners to ensure the project’s deployment plan is appropriate, timely, and contributes to Lawrence Transit’s ability to successfully maintain their newly-formed battery electric bus fleet.

This project was made possible thanks to the following partners:

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) - Funding and Technical Support

City of Lawrence - Funding, Technical Support, and Project Management Support

University of Kansas - Funding, Technical Support, and Project Management Support

Transdev - Funding, Technical Support, and Project Management Support

Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) - Technical Support and Project Management

GILLIG – Manufacturer of Battery Electric Buses; GILLIG is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States

ChargePoint – Manufacturer of battery electric charging infrastructure; ChargePoint offers electric vehicle (EV) charging experiences for those involved in the shift to electric mobility

Electrify Lawrence Team