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Rhode Island Public Transit deploying three Proterra electric buses using VW settlement funding

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is deploying three 40' Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses. Rhode Island received $14.4 million in VW settlement funding and chose to invest the bulk of it in clean transit, with the intent to replace approximately 20 retiring diesel buses with new, all-electric zero-emission vehicles. This deployment marks the first step toward achieving this goal.

A lease program provides RIPTA with an opportunity to evaluate the combined economic, environmental and performance benefits of deploying all-electric buses. The buses will be tested extensively and staff will be trained in the maintenance and charging of the vehicles before they are put in service.

Rhode Island currently has 73 hybrid buses and with the addition of zero-emission buses, low and zero-emission vehicles will represent approximately 36% of the state’s bus fleet. Proterra’s buses will replace three aging diesel buses on current RIPTA transit routes, with a focus on serving communities that suffer from poor air quality and high asthma rates.

Last year, RIPTA provided approximately 16 million passenger trips on its fixed-route service.

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