Miami-Dade spending over $175 million on fleet of new electric buses

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County is spending tens of millions of dollars on a fleet of new battery-powered buses.

However, the company commissioned to build those buses has had a host of issues this year.

Traffic-escaping, cleaner, bigger electric busses have been the plan.

One hundred, 60-foot buses were approved Tuesday in a consent-agenda bulk vote, with no discussion, detail nor debate.

“I was surprised to see the item was not pulled,” said Miami-Dade County Commission Vice Chairman Anthony Rodriguez. “I got my questions responded, replied to, beforehand.”

Commissioners were pre-briefed on details, but didn’t know to ask about issues the chosen company New Flyer is currently facing, including an NTSB investigation into a battery-powered transit bus that caught fire and burned last summer in Connecticut with no one on board at the time.

New Flyer is a decades-old company, but its CEO reported losses and supply chain issues late last year.

Miami-Dade County agreed to purchase 100 electric buses, 50 chargers, parts, training and other things for over $175 million, with the price guaranteed until the end of this month.

“We had one company and we had a deadline, because we were trying to buy them at a particular price point and, as you know, things are going up constantly and we needed to move in a hurry to secure the price,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

“We understand that getting those busses is seminal to lot our transportation processes and promises, like for down south or just the fleet in general,” added Commission Chairman Oliver Gilbert.

Commissioners Local 10 News spoke with Tuesday are confident contract guardrails are in place.

“We will hold this company accountable to deliver what they’re promising,” said Rodriguez.


About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."