Feb. 13, 2019 – Today Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, announced that StarMetro, the city of Tallahassee’s public transit system, has agreed to purchase 22 Proterra Catalyst® FC buses to service Florida State University (FSU), bringing the StarMetro fleet to 27 battery-electric buses. FSU is one of the first universities in the nation to decommission its entire fossil-fuel powered fleet and upgrade it to a 100 percent battery-electric fleet, joining cities across North America in the trend to cleaner, higher-performing electric transit buses.
Since operating its first battery-electric buses over five years ago, StarMetro has logged over 313,000 miles of revenue service with five Proterra buses to date and is excited to grow its zero-emission fleet footprint. The procurement will also set a national precedent with FSU being one of the first universities in the nation to go all-electric, and StarMetro will continue to lead the Sunshine State in electric bus adoption.
The new 35-foot Proterra Catalyst FC buses will serve FSU’s Seminole Express Bus Service and provide campus transportation for faculty, staff, students and visitors, totaling an average ridership of 847,000 each year. Operations are expected to begin mid-2019 with an initial deployment of 15 buses, with the remaining seven buses expected to deploy in 2021. This procurement also supports the goals defined in Florida State University’s strategic plan to deepen its commitment to continuous innovation, invest strategically and incorporate sustainable living practices into all FSU activities. With 22 Catalyst buses, Florida State University will displace more than 2,820,000 gallons of diesel over the vehicles’ 12-year lifespan and eliminate over 5,000,000 pounds of carbon emissions annually. The new electric buses are expected to provide fuel and maintenance cost savings of more than $10 million.
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.
“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,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “Helping universities and the next-generation of leaders experience zero-emission transit is intrinsic to our vision.”