Foothill Transit, a public transport provider that operates bus services in Southern San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, in California, will soon be adding a fleet of all-electric, zero-emission buses and related fast-charging stations to its existing bus fleet and transit routes.
Foothill will launch the Proterra EcoRide BE35 buses on Sept. 3 with the goal of establishing a full fleet of clean-fueled vehicles by 2011. The launch also marks Proterra’s first deployment of the all-electric buses by a major transit agency.
The deployment of Proterra’s EcoRide BE35 buses, known as the “Ecoliner” by Foothill Transit, is expected to provide a real-world example of the benefits and ease of deployment of Proterra’s zero emission buses and charging solutions. They also will offer California transit agencies a solution to meet the Zero Emission Bus (Zbus) regulation, which requires large California agencies to purchase 15 percent of their annual bus orders as zero emission buses starting in 2012.
In addition to reducing air and noise pollution, the Ecoliner buses offer up to three hours of operation and the ability to recharge in less than 10 minutes on route. This will allow transit agencies to add these buses into existing routes without impacting their schedules or routes, says Proterra.
Other benefits include a 400 percent improvement in fuel economy and greater than $300,000 savings in total lifetime operating expenses.
Hybrid buses already have rolled out in pilot programs in New York City and Baltimore, where they are estimated to reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent. They are also up to 35 percent quieter than typical city buses.