People in the Northland have been anxiously waiting the arrival of the Duluth Transit Authority's Multimodal Transportation Center and their new high tech buses.  The DTA has been around for more than 130 years.  Their mission is to provide public transit that is safe, convenient, efficient and affordable, that's why using electric buses in the Northland is perfect!

 

The Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) announced in February that they were awarded FTA Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (LoNo) Grant to purchase six electric buses and a fast-charge station from Proterra.

They were one of ten applicants out of 70 to receive one.  According to a DTA press release, the buses are coming from  Proterra Manufacturing in Greenville, South Carolina.  We're lucky to have found out about the electric buses now since the fast-charge station can now be integrated into the DTA’s new Multimodal Transportation Center.

There are many reasons why the Northland was chosen for this opportunity.  Our hills and long winter season is the perfect testing ground for electric buses.  More importantly the DTA is one of few that are qualified to operate these buses with their proven record of embracing advanced technologies.

So, we're guinea pigs in a way, but if the buses work well in Duluth and  are a success to operate in the Northland there will be more than likely be a big demand for electric buses in other cold-weather cities across the country.

If you would like to see one, tomorrow is your chance! It will be at the following locations:

Transit Center East - 2:15 p.m, leaves for UMD's Kirby Bus Hub - 2:20 p.m.

UMD Kirby Bus Hub - 2:40 p.m, leaves for downtown Duluth  - 3:10 p.m.

About Proterra Electric Busses:

  • 575% fuel advantage over a standard diesel bus
  • Enables a 30% reduction in annual maintenance spending
  • Lightweight composite body will never corrode
  • A very quiet ride for patrons and no tail pipe
  • Charges on-route in less than 10 minutes
  • 30 – 40 mile range