In 2011, Foothill Transit became the first transit agency in the U.S. to use on-route charge electric buses by purchasing and operating Proterra buses. Based on strong performance and return on investment of those vehicles, the agency has decided to purchase an additional 12 buses from Proterra to completely electrify its 291 route, which travels between LaVerne and Pomona.
Although popular throughout the country for reduced cost of ownership and sustainability, zero-emission electric buses are of particular interest in California, where there are many environmental non-attainment zones and California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulations in play.
“The Foothill Transit order is a clear vote of confidence and confirmation that Proterra buses truly deliver the lowest total cost of ownership and smallest carbon footprint of any transit bus on the market,” said Garrett Mikita, president and chief executive officer, Proterra Inc. “Foothill Transit was our first customer and the first U.S. transit agency to go electric with on-route charging, so we are thrilled that they have seen the value of expanding their electric fleet and will use Proterra buses to do so.”
The Foothill Transit sale is the latest in a wave of new orders for Proterra, with the company’s last three sales to transit systems coming from repeat customers. Recently, StarMetro of Tallahassee purchased an additional three EV buses from Proterra, increasing their EV fleet size to five, and the Worcester Regional Transit Authority in Massachusetts doubled its initial three bus order to six.
“We had high hopes when we first made the decision to use these innovative fast-charge EV buses,” said Foothill Transit Executive Director Doran Barnes. “These electric buses have more than delivered on our expectations in terms of cost savings and sustainability. We're looking forward to launching our—and our region's—first all-electric bus line. This is the future of zero-emission buses, and we're proud to be on board.”
To keep pace with this growing demand, Proterra has doubled its production workforce, installed a second production line, added a second shift and grown its sales staff significantly.