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City to Add Three Zero-Emission Electric Buses to HOP Route for Cleaner, Greener Public Transit

transit talks hop ebus The City of Boulder, in partnership with Via Mobility Services, will soon introduce three new, zero-emission electric buses for use on the  local HOP route , helping the city make progress toward its clean energy and climate goals. The buses are currently being tested and are slated to be put into service in early April.

The new buses, designed and manufactured in the U.S. by  Proterra , are 100% electric and emission-free and will be charged with renewable, solar energy. They feature quieter operation, can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, and are five times more fuel-efficient than standard diesel buses, with a fuel efficiency of 22.2 miles per gallon equivalent (mpg-e) compared to 3.5 mpg for the current diesel buses. The electric buses also have lower operating costs than diesel buses since they do not require maintenance of an engine or exhaust system. 

The city and Via, which operates the HOP through a contract with the City of Boulder, have the goal of electrifying the entire HOP fleet by 2030.  The three new buses will join an existing electric HOP bus that was repowered from diesel to electric in 2018.

With transportation now the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in Colorado, and the sector representing 29% of all GHGs in Boulder, the City of Boulder adopted the  GoEV City resolution  last year, declaring support for transportation electrification across the community. The city aims to convert all transit and municipal vehicles to 100% electric by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. The State of Colorado also has the goal to reduce GHGs by 50% by 2030.

Community partnerships are key to reaching these goals, and the electric HOP buses join other local transportation electrification efforts underway. Boulder Valley School District recently  introduced an electric school bus , which is the first of its kind in the state.

“The pandemic has underlined the importance of investing in public transit. Convenient, affordable bus service improves equity, helping essential workers, low-income community members and older adults get where they need to go safely and efficiently,” said Natalie Stiffler, deputy director of the city’s Transportation & Mobility Department. “We’re excited to convert more of our buses to electric, zero-emission models and help reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions for a cleaner and more resilient climate future.”

"Investing in a robust transit system – with a network of fast, frequent and affordable bus routes – is a cornerstone of our city, region and state’s transportation strategy to provide travel choices and reduce transportation emissions. Together, we’re moving our community forward to reach our climate goals," shared Frank Bruno, Via’s CEO.

Community members are invited to join a  virtual Transit Talk event  hosted by Via on March 25 from 5 to 6 p.m. to learn more about community transit electrification efforts and hear from panelists from the City of Boulder, Via and BVSD. Interested participants can register for the event at  bit.ly/3rLjdal .

Funding for the three new HOP buses is made possible through Federal Transit Administration and Volkswagen Settlement grants administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation and partnership contributions from the Regional Transportation District, Via and the city. The city and Via continue to pursue grant funding opportunities for additional electric buses for the HOP fleet.

About City of Boulder
Located approximately 30 miles northwest of Denver at an elevation of 5,430 feet, the City of Boulder is home to 103,840 residents and the state's largest institution of higher learning, the University of Colorado. Boulder is a world-class destination with over 300 miles of public hiking and biking facilities. Its spectacular scenery includes more than 45,000 acres of open space. Boulder is a home-rule municipality that is self-governed under the Constitution of the State of Colorado. Learn more about city projects and programs at  www.bouldercolorado.gov .

About Via
Enhancing mobility is Via’s cause. Founded in 1979, Via is a full-spectrum mobility manager offering paratransit, travel training and mobility options information and referral services. Via also provides a wide range of community and group educational resources related to transportation for older adults, people with disabilities and others living with mobility limitations. Learn more at  www.viacolorado.org .

About Proterra
Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission, heavy-duty electric vehicles, enabling bus fleet operators to significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet transportation to local communities across North America. The company’s configurable ZX5 platform is designed to serve the daily mileage needs of a wide range of transit routes on a single charge. With industry-leading durability and energy efficiency based on rigorous U.S. independent testing, Proterra products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America. For more information, visit:  www.proterra.com .

Media Contacts:
Samantha Glavin, City of Boulder Media Relations, 720-667-9480
Lyndsy Morse, Via Mobility Services Media Relations, 303-473-2882

Published March 18, 2021