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LAS CRUCES CITY COUNCIL

City council approves electric bus purchases

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The Las Cruces City Council unanimously adopted a five-year contract with BYD Coach and Bus company of Los Angeles to purchase five battery electric powered transit buses for RoadRUNNER Transit.

The near $4.15 million contract was approved by the council at its Sept. 20 regular meeting. It includes options to purchase seven more buses.

The five electric buses will replace diesel-fueled buses the city purchased in 2004. The electric buses will have a 12-year life expectancy.

RoadRUNNER Transit has a goal of having 20 percent of its buses be battery electric as it transitions its fixed route fleet. The city’s comprehensive plan also calls for converting RoadRUNNER Transit’s fleet to cleaner energy fuels, such as compressed natural gas or renewable energy such as battery electric buses.

At the Sept. 20 meeting, the council also agreed to terminate a Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) agreement with 420 Valley LLC, a company that had planned to establish a hemp processing facility in Las Cruces. The termination authorizes the return of $400,000 in LEDA funds to the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The city council authorized the funding in December 2019, but 420 Valley was negatively impacted by the pandemic and could not meet hiring goals.

The council also adopted the city’s East Lohman Development Plan to guide the development of approximately 509 acres that is roughly centered on the intersection of east Lohman Avenue and south Sonoma Ranch Boulevard. The planning area includes approximately 140 acres of city-owned land located south of Lohman Avenue and west of Sonoma Ranch Boulevard.

The plan includes a conceptual site plan with health service, mixed commercial and hospitality, housing and open space land use areas.

BYD Coach