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Visalia Transit Drives Into The Future

Starting today, Thursday, November 1st, three new battery-powered electric buses will join the Visalia Transit fleet of 83 buses and service all Visalia residents traveling along Route 1, Visalia Transit’s busiest route.

Thanks to a combination of funding from the California Air Resources Board grant, Prop 1B, SB1, and local transportation monies, the city’s first electric buses will be making their way around Visalia, helping improve the air quality and getting riders where they need to be. Visalia’s first allocation of SB1 in the
amount of $258,000 has been used to improve public transportation in the Visalia community.

“This is not only a great addition to the fleet but also an innovative approach for transit, in general, so I’m looking forward to seeing how these electric buses incorporate into our community and how they’re received by the public,” said City Manager Randy Groom.

The vehicles were built by Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation. Grant sources were used to purchase Proterra Catalyst Electric Transit (E2 Series) Vehicles, battery systems, and charging infrastructure.

The buses’ range of operation can run an estimated 175 miles with a full charge, and each bus is projected to travel between 100 and 150 miles each day. All three buses will be equipped with the current Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), as well as surveillance cameras. On top of the preexisting technology, including free WiFi on all Visalia Transit buses, these new 100 percent battery-powered buses are zero-emissions vehicles.

“I’m excited to see us introducing new buses like this. We are on the cutting edge with these buses, and I’m very excited to see them running,” said City Councilman Phil Cox. “I can’t wait to see people in them.”

Electric buses have great potential for a positive environmental impact in Visalia. The California Air Resources Board set a goal of 100 percent zero-emission on California transit fleets by 2040, and Visalia Transit is looking forward to being part of this initiative.

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