ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Meet the future of transportation in Tampa Bay.
- eLooper set to debut next week
- Batteries on roof transfer power to two motors
- MORE: eLooper map, schedule, stops on PSTA website
- More Bay Area traffic news from Spectrum Bay News 9
It's the new eLooper, the first of six all-electric buses coming to Pinellas County.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority CEO Brad Miller could not be more proud.
"Oh my gosh we're so excited to bring the very first, zero emission bus to the Tampa Bay area," Miller said.
It's through a PSTA, county, state and federal partnership. The bus hits the road October 7.
A.J. Ortiz, the safety security and training supervisor for PSTA, describes the bus as a 20,000 pound golf cart.
Batteries on the roof transfer power to two motors, and the bus quietly goes on its way.
"Citizens of downtown St Pete, where this bus is primarily going to be at, are also going to enjoy it because, one, it's going to be quiet," Ortiz said. "Two, no emissions, and I understand — you live in a high rise, you don't want to smell any diesel fumes. So we answered."
Other than the air conditioner, it doesn’t make a sound.
For now the new electric buses will get their charge from charging stations at PSTA. But the next phase has an "on route" charging system. It's about as big as a sewer cover. The bus will pull over it, and that's how it will get its juice.
The eLooper is WiFi equipped, has an expanded downtown route and is offered at no cost to riders.
Officials say it's just the beginning.
"We hope to change all 200 of our buses someday to electric vehicles," Miller said.
In the future if you see USB ports on this bus for you to charge your phone while you ride, that was Chuck's idea!