I finally see Como Connect’s BYD electric bus

After years of road trips to Columbia and years of criticizing Como Connect‘s lack of good service and problems it has with its route structure, now I finally got to see the BYD K-9 electric bus on fixed route service. Currently Como has five BYDs in their fleet. The buses are obtained on a lease-to-own agreement for 12 years with BYD providing the battery charging stations. After the lease-to-own agreement is completed Como will own the buses outright. According to the Missourian, the City of Columbia saved $60,000 by entering the lease-to-own agreement with BYD with buses costing $720,000. If they had bought the buses outright it would’ve cost $780,000 per bus. The electric bus is more expensive than a diesel bus, which ranges in price from $350,000 to $525,000 depending on the specifications.

Como plans to get rid their 2000 New Flyer D40LF diesel buses. Como has plans to buy more electric and CNG buses in the future.

Here is the BYD spotted on the 1A South on Providence Rd.

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Como Connect still needs to improve their system, they still make college students buy a $100 semester pass to ride their buses each semester. Why not include that in the tuition costs? Stephen College and Mizzou have lots of students that don’t have access to a car. However, if transit options are lackluster as it is in Columbia, they might as well, bike, borrow a friend’s car, or walk to places they need to go. Being the first city in Missouri to operate an electric bus is great, but there is no icing on the cake when the transit system isn’t that good.

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