Battery-electric transit bus manufacturer Proterra has entered the university market with its first order from the Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM) Transportation for two Proterra 40-foot Catalyst Fast Charge buses and one semi-autonomous fast charger for its UDASH routes.
ASUM, one of a handful of student-led transit agencies in the United States, is now prioritizing electric vehicle mass transit and will begin replacing its diesel vehicles.
On behalf of everyone involved at ASUM, I’d like to express our enthusiasm for Proterra’s zero-emission electric buses. As part of our ongoing effort to innovate service, align with student advocacy and reduce our carbon footprint, we take great pride in our decision to go electric. We hope this encourages—and challenges—other universities to seriously consider the economic and environmental benefits of zero-emission buses.—Jordan Hess, ASUM Office of Transportation Director
Founded in 1999 by a student referendum, ASUM Transportation has a history of fostering student governance and tackling critical issues to ensure a safe and efficient transit experience for the university’s population. Since its inception, ASUM’s weekly ridership has grown to nearly 15,000; last year alone it provided more than 400,000 complimentary rides to students, faculty and visitors and 14% of all trips to campus occur on ASUM’s UDASH service.
Proterra’s Total Cost of Ownership was a major selling point for ASUM, given the transit agency’s size and limited resources. In addition to financing the buses through the state of Montana’s INTERCAP program, ASUM received a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for $163,191, which aims to improve public health through reducing emissions and particulate matter.
Proterra has sold more than 110 vehicles to 15 different transit agencies throughout North America. Proterra's configurable EV platform, battery and charging options make its buses well-suited for a wide range of transit and campus routes.