This purchase increases the WRTA’s electric fleet to six buses - 13 percent of its entire fleet. The buses are set to go into service this month, giving WRTA the largest fleet of electric buses in revenue service in North America.
The WRTA made its initial purchase from Proterra in September 2012, using funds from a $4.4 million Federal Transit Administration Clean Fuels grant to replace three of its twelve old diesel buses. These three electric buses went into service in late summer on routes between Union Station and The Shoppes at Blackstone Valley and Quinsigamond Community College.
“Repeat customers represent the ultimate customer service goal for our company,” said Garrett Mikita, president and CEO, Proterra Inc. “Our continuing partnership with WRTA emphasizes the long-term financial benefits of reducing an authority’s dependence on fossil fuels and the positive impact battery-electric buses can have on the environment.”
Proterra’s EcoRide BE35 battery-electric buses recharge in less than 10 minutes. The buses are made of lightweight composite materials and are powered with state-of-the-art battery technology. As a result, the buses have zero emissions, run virtually silent and are 500 percent more fuel efficient than diesel buses.
“The WRTA is committed to promoting resource conservation by purchasing environmentally friendly products,” said WRTA administrator Stephen O’Neil. “Proterra’s all-electric buses run quieter, cleaner and more efficiently than older model diesel buses and reduce our carbon footprint — while maintaining a high level of efficiency and customer satisfaction.”