The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County voted unanimously to carry out a contract with Nova Bus for the purchase of 20 electric buses. The METRO board of directors voted on the roughly $22 million contract at the Nov. 18 board meeting.

METRO applied for the
Federal Transit Administration's Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant program to help pay for the buses, according to an email from Monica Russo, public information officer for METRO. The grant is expected to cover the majority of the cost, as METRO applied for $20 million, Russo said.

Nova Bus is a bus manufacturing company based in Canada. The contract comes on the heels of METRO’s sustainability vision statement adopted in August. One of the goals of the statement is to have a 100% zero-emission bus replacement by 2030, according to Russo.

The buses are expected to be in operation by the fourth quarter of 2022 Russo said, and they will initially have routes that serve communities more affected by carbon emissions and ones that have been chosen by Houston Complete Communities. Ten buses will serve METRO's 28 OST-Wayside route, and the other 10 will serve the 402 Bellaire Quickline route.