Electric bus rollout was delayed

Four of the five electric Vineyard Transit Authority buses that arrived on-Island last month have been running routes this week after a slow initial rollout due to technical issues.

VTA administrator Angie Grant told the Times the buses experienced some technical difficulties with the radio communication software. When the buses’ headlights turned on, they would cause static interference with the radio signal, she said.

The fifth bus is still under repair.

A different type of headlight was swapped in, and lowered the static noise. Some static can still be heard, but the buses can now receive radio signals.

The VTA has been working with Build Your Dreams, the California-based company who designed the buses, to fix the issues.

“It’s been a slow rollout, which we were expecting, and we are making progress, which is an important piece,” Grant said. Next summer, the VTA plans to have 10 buses running routes out of its 32 electric bus fleet.