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March 16, 2018

Electric bus demonstration coming to Portland and Augusta

Courtesy / Proterra Electric bus manufacturer Proterra is bringing a zero-emission electric bus to locations in Portland and Augusta for demonstrations next week.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is putting the word out that the electric bus manufacturer Proterra is bring a zero-emission electric bus to locations in Portland and Augusta for demonstrations next week.

The zero-emissions bus can operate all day on a single charge or by using on-route fasting charging infrastructure, according to the NRCM’s news release. The bus holds up to 77 passengers (40 seated). It also features far lower noise levels (inside and outside) and lower operational and maintenance costs compared to buses that use diesel fuel or Compressed Natural Gas.

According to Proterra, the electric bus visiting Maine week can save municipalities about $37,000 per year in operation and maintenance costs compared with a diesel bus.

NRCM reported that the March 19-22 demonstration is part of a potential partnership between Greater Portland METRO, ShuttleBus-ZOOM (or SH-Zoom, Biddeford, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach Transit) and Proterra to obtain grant funding for electric buses in Maine. If grant funding is approved, METRO and SH-ZOOM would transition a portion of their fleet to electric vehicles.

“Metro is considering electric buses and a possible transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2040,” METRO General Manager Greg Jordan said in the news release. “We’re evaluating a possible partnership with Proterra to secure federal funding for electric buses. This demonstration is a part of that evaluation.”

METRO board members, stakeholders, members of the media and the public are invited to visit METRO’s office, learn more about electric buses and take a ride around the City of Portland.

“We’re excited to see municipalities like Portland, Biddeford, Saco, and Old Orchard exploring the potential for electric buses in Maine. In addition to reducing emissions and improving air quality, these buses can save cities money,” says Sue Ely, Clean Energy Attorney for the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Greater Portland METRO, with ridership of more than 1.8 million, provides public transit throughout Portland, Westbrook, Falmouth and the Maine Mall area of South Portland. METRO BREEZ express service offers frequent bus service between Portland, Yarmouth, Freeport and Brunswick. Starting in August 2018 METRO will expand service to the Town of Gorham and between USM campuses in Gorham and Portland and between Westbrook and the Maine Mall area of South Portland.

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