Meridian, Idaho’s Valley Regional Transit (VRT) is purchasing eight Proterra Catalyst® 35-foot E2 buses and eight 125 kW plug-in charging systems. VRT is Proterra’s first customer in Idaho and the first transit agency in Idaho to bring electric buses to its community.
VRT received funding for the new electric buses through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Low or No Emission Program Grants. With the purchase of eight buses and charging systems, VRT will transition about one-fourth of its fleet to battery-electric buses. VRT manages contracts for the operation of ValleyRide bus services and ACCESS paratransit service. ValleyRide bus services consist of 18 fixed-line routes in Boise/Garden City, three fixed-line routes in Nampa/Caldwell, and four intercounty routes between Ada County and Canyon County.
Valley Regional Transit will lease their bus batteries through Proterra. As a result of the battery lease, the initial capital cost for the electric bus will be similar to a diesel or CNG bus, and VRT will be able to utilize the operating funds previously earmarked for fuel to pay for the battery lease.
Additionally, under the battery lease Proterra will provide 12 years of warranty for battery performance and capacity, which matches the expected life of the buses and decreases operator risk. The performance warranty also includes a requirement for Proterra to install new batteries on the buses at mid-life to help ensure the batteries always have plenty of energy to meet their route needs and hedge against future replacement battery costs.
The new Proterra electric buses will replace aging diesel and CNG buses.