DTA Adding Eco-Friendly Buses to their Fleet

May 18, 2015 09:18 AM

The Duluth Transit Authority is taking steps to decrease it's carbon footprint by adding no emission busses to their fleet.


The Proterra electric transit bus is an eco-friendly counterpart to the diesel busses that currently run through the Twin Ports. Each of the new busses will replace a diesel one that gives off more than 300 pounds of emissions per year.

Each bus comes with a price tag of more than $800,000, but the cost of the initial bus is offset by a $6 million grant awarded to the DTA as part of a No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program.

Officials from the DTA say they have to keep the busses that currently run through the city through a 12 year cycle, but they believe that the new busses can stay on the roads for up to 18 years.

In addition, the new busses are able to carry two more passengers than the standard busses because of the freed-up space that a conventional engine would take up.

The first bus will be running routes by the end of May in 2016, and the DTA plans on adding the other buses, along with electric charging stations, by December.

The new busses will also be a test program for the rest of the country. The company that makes these busses are eager to find out how they handle the harsh Northland winter climate, and at the same time, how they navigate up and down the steep Duluth hills.


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