GTA has been a local leader in transit sustainability with the use of fuel-efficient and alternative fuel buses and the construction of a Gold-certified LEED Operations and Administration Facility. Our next venture is our most exciting yet -- battery-electric rechargeable buses. The 40-foot coaches are being built by Proterra, a national leader in the production of custom battery electric buses based in Greeneville, SC.
The buses offer features similar to our existing fleet with the exception of its power source. Instead of diesel fuel, the buses use electricity stored in on-board batteries to drive the electric motor. This electricity comes from overnight charging kiosks as well as a quick-charging kiosk that can charge a bus in as little as eight minutes. Through a process called degenerative braking the vehicle's constant stops also provides electricity to the batteries.
GTA has long encouraged the community to "Dump The Pump" and ride public transit, and the Proterra bus will a stranger to the diesel fuel pump. Because no fossil fuel is used, the only emission from the battery-electric bus is water. There's also a reduced noise level for riders and the communities in which the buses operate. When placed into service, GTA expects to save $850,000 in fuel and maintenance per bus over 10 years. In addition to the energy saving features, the battery-electric bus will offer our newest perk to riders: under-seat USB ports for charging phones and mobile devices.
The first buses are now being built. You are welcome to follow the process by viewing the pictures below:
September 18, 2017: Carbon fiber-reinforced composite body arrives at Proterra to begin assembly.
September 21, 2018: Interior floor is added.
September 28, 2018 - Crews begin cutting through the concrete bus parking lot to install one charging station for each electric bus.
October 5, 2018 - The underbody receives work along with the addition of the axles. Meanwhile in Greensboro, the preparations are made for the installation of the overnight charging stations at the maintenance facility and the quick-charging station at the Depot.
October 12, 2018 - The lightweight aluminum wheels are added along with the various lighting assemblies. Wiring begins to wind through the body to control everything from turn signals to air conditioning. Window openings are being prepared to receive custom-shaped glass.