Proterra Catalyst

Proterra Catalyst

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced a new round of alternative energy grants.

In total, seven transit providers in five states will receive a share of $22.5 million for projects related to electric and/or fuel cell buses.

"FTA awarded the FY 2015 funds after a highly-competitive review process that prioritized transit agencies and bus manufacturers with strong records in building, deploying, and operating clean buses and infrastructure.

The Low-No program helps advance President Obama’s vision for a 21st Century Clean Transportation System and the Department’s Beyond Traffic framework for investing in a strong and sustainable transportation network that will meet the needs of our nation in the years ahead."

The largest grant inside the program ($5.4 million) went to the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), which intends to purchase five pure electric buses from New Flyer - but one will still need to be patient to ride one of those:

"UTA and the University of Utah received a federal grant to purchase five buses, three that will be used on route 2 and two that will serve the University of Utah campus."

"UTA will purchase New Flyer battery-electric buses using funds from a $5.4 million Federal Transit Administration grant. The grant will also be used for project implementation and monitoring.

The buses could arrive at UTA as early as 2018, where they’ll become part of a growing low-emission fleet. UTA already operates 32 hybrid electric buses and 47 compressed natural gas buses, with plans to add more this year. A testing period will be conducted before the New Flyer buses are put into service."

The largest project (by purchase volume) seems to be Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which using nearly $2.6 million to help purchase 25 buses (and 5 fast charging stations) from Proterra. Proterra is also the big winner overall, expecting 33 new Catalyst orders.

"The Low-No grant winners will use their funds to purchase 33 Catalyst® buses, bringing Proterra’s total number of orders to 155 vehicles from 16 transit agencies across the United States."

SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon said:

“SEPTA is excited to be able to move forward with the purchase of 25 emission-free electric buses from Proterra. SEPTA already has one of the greenest bus fleets in the nation, with over half of our vehicles operating diesel-electric hybrids. The addition of electric buses furthers our commitment to a sustainable future for our riders and local residents.”

Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra said:

“This is a big win for Proterra and the industry alike because it signals continual market demand for zero-emission vehicles. We are pleased to be supporting SEPTA, Foothill Transit and King County Metro in their electrification efforts and are committed to designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art, zero-emission buses that ultimately save our customers time and money.”

Fiscal Year 2015 Low and No-Emission Vehicle Deployment Program Projects:


State Project Sponsor Project Description Funding Amount
CA LACMTA under Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) will receive $4,275,000 toward five battery-electric zero-emission buses, as well as eight charging stations. This electric bus infrastructure will serve the Metro Orange Line bus rapid transit corridor in the City of Los Angeles. LACMTA will also partner with the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium to include workforce development in support of zero-emission technology. $4,275,000
CA Foothill Transit under Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Foothill Transit will receive $1,310,000 toward electric charging facilities that will support the agency's ongoing electric bus program, which includes an electric-only bus line. This program will help expand Foothill Transit's electric bus capabilities. $1,310,000
CA AC Transit Under the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) will receive $1,551,611 toward five battery-electric buses and related equipment. AC Transit has experience deploying zero-emission buses, including battery-electric buses and fuel cell electric buses. This project will expand AC Transit's clean vehicle infrastructure in addition to providing valuable data comparing battery-electric to fuel cell technology. $1,551,611
OH Stark Area Regional Transit Authority The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) will receive $4,015,174 toward three zero-emission American Fuel Cell Buses (AFCBs). This project will build on SARTA's successful, existing fuel cell bus program, which has already established hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure and will soon deploy five AFCBs in Stark County. $4,015,174
PA Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will receive $2,585,075 toward the purchase of 25 zero-emission all-electric buses and related equipment. These vehicles will be deployed on bus routes in South Philadelphia, and an associated workforce development program will further contribute to the project's economic impact. $2,585,075
UT Utah Transit Authority (UTA) The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) will receive $5,427,100 toward five battery-electric zero-emission buses. Partnering with the University of Utah, these buses will serve the route connecting the campus to Salt Lake City. This program builds on UTA's extensive commitment to low and no-emission vehicles and technology. $5,427,100
WA King County King County Metro will receive $3,336,040 toward eight battery-electric zero-emission buses, which will allow two routes to be operated using entirely zero-emission vehicles. $3,336,040
TOTAL $22,500,000
Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2016


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