Electric bus manufacturer Proterra recently announced that StarMetro, the city of Tallahassee’s public transit system, has placed their third order with the automaker, effectively transitioning Florida State University’s public transportation system to a 100 percent purely electric bus fleet.
According to Proterra, StarMetro has agreed to purchase 22 Proterra Catalyst FC buses that will service Florida State University, bringing their electric bus fleet to 27 total units. Thanks to Proterra, Florida State University (FSU) has become among one of the first universities in the United States to decommission their entire fossil-fuel powered fleet in adoption of a fully-electric alternative.
The 35-foot Proterra Catalyst FC electric buses will provide transportation for faculty, staff, students, and visitors of FSU through the university’s Seminole Express Bus Service, totaling an average ridership of 847,000 each year. Florida State University is expected to displace over 2,820,000 gallons of diesel over the 22 Proterra Catalyst FC buses’ 12-year lifespan, eliminate over 5,000,000 pounds of carbon emissions annually, and provide fuel and maintenance cost savings of more than $10 million.
Proterra addressed the recent order in their most recent press release, stating:
“For universities and colleges, the trajectory towards sustainable transportation models is not only fueled by widespread student interest in environmentally friendly practices, but also because ‘going green’ can provide long-term cost savings. As the third largest university in Florida, FSU will serve as a leading example for other colleges across the country that want to prioritize zero-emission campus transportation for the next generation. Proterra has also sold its Catalyst buses to the University of Montana, Duke University and Alabama A&M University.”
Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra, added:
“As university populations grow across the United States, more campus transportation operators are taking the long-view and looking for sustainable ways to increase mobility while reducing costs and their carbon footprint. Helping universities and the next-generation of leaders experience zero-emission transit is intrinsic to our vision.”
Operations are expected to begin mid-2019 with an initial deployment of 15 buses, with the remaining seven buses expected to deploy in 2021.