This fall, Bridgeport will be looking a little greener. Well maybe not the leaves, but certainly the future. Greater Bridgeport Transit is trailblazing the way to a more sustainable transit future for Connecticut. They are commissioning 5 new battery electric buses for their fleet, with the first two, Proterra Catalysts, rolling out for regular service starting in October. Gov. Lamont unveiled the buses in a press conference on September 28th in Bridgeport.
“This program illustrates our commitment not only to public transportation and the thousands of Connecticut citizens who rely on it every day, but also to the environment,” Governor Lamont said. “This green technology is state-of-the-art and will serve us for years to come with clean, safe, reliable service, which is the best way to get people out of their cars and onto buses and trains.”
The transition to electric buses will reduce carbon emissions, make our environment cleaner, with the added benefit of saving GBT money, on both fuel and maintenance, as electric vehicles boast almost no maintenance costs. In this first phase, the operation of the battery electric buses is expected to reduce their annual diesel fuel consumption by roughly the equivalent of removing 45 passenger cars from the road for a year.
Proterra’s buses are made in the USA out of material similar to that used in aircraft design. The company has sold more than 950 electric buses in the US and Canada. Phase 2 of the project will introduce 3 Proterra ZX5 660 kWh battery electric buses and even longer range.
This project has been years in the making, with funding and support from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Connecticut’s Department of Transportation (CTDOT) through their e-bus initiative, The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection(DEEP), and the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE). Douglas Holcomb, General Manager of GBT, said the daily process was a multi-state, multi-organizational, team effort.
The charging infrastructure, designed with the help of Wendel Architects, is designed to accommodate up to 11 Battery Electric Buses in the future. All of GBT’s drivers are being trained on the new electrics, and Holcomb says they are actively recruiting for drivers and mechanics.
No tailpipe, no particulates, no fumes. Each time an electric bus replaces a diesel bus, about 230,000 pounds of CO2 are avoided each year-equivalent to planting 5,000 trees.
Holcomb says,“What matters, is that the customers like them.” What’s not to like? Quieter ride? Zero tailpipe emissions? Cleaner air? Looks like a win-win.
If you would like to learn more about electric buses Douglas Holcomb along with Lee Grannis of Greater New Haven Clean Cities will be speaking at Green Wheels Expo’s webinar series on Tuesday 9/29 at 1:00 PM . You can register to attend or receive a link to the recording here: http://Learn about Bridgeport Proterra Electric Transit Buses