By Ryan Gee Montgomery, Alabama (Reuters) – Montgomery, home to the University of Alabama system, plans to open its first bus rapid-transit system this summer, starting with two routes connecting to Montgomery International Airport, the Alabama Transportation Department said on Thursday.

    The bus rapid bus system will be powered by a $1 billion state-owned fleet of electric buses and will operate from July 1 through March 31, Montgomery Transportation Commissioner Paul Brown said.

    The first bus service will operate on an hourly basis, he said.

    The buses will be built by a consortium of private companies including Tesla Motors Inc and a partner, Caltrain.

    The buses will have seating for 40 passengers and will be able to accommodate up to 60 people, Brown said in a statement.

    The program, which has not yet been named, will be the first for a major U.S. transportation system.

    In June, Maryland opened its first fully-electric bus service to serve people who commute to Montgomery from Baltimore.

    In addition to bus service, Montgomery has also launched a program to provide services for people with disabilities, including a $10 bus fare.

    RELATED ARTICLES