Yosemite National Park will add two Proterra Catalyst electric buses to its fleet, becoming the first U.S. national park to permanently add zero-emission, battery-electric buses to its shuttle fleet. The buses will begin service in late 2018 and will operate throughout the year, transporting up to 1,480 visitors per day.
One of the nation’s most-visited national parks, Yosemite attracts more than five million visitors from around the world each year. Increased vehicle congestion has contributed to air pollution and noise problems in the park, and Yosemite relies heavily on its shuttle program to encourage visitors to park once and use a bus to circulate among lodges, waterfalls, and trailheads. This free shuttle service travels approximately 436,000 miles with 3.8 million boardings annually.
In 2001, the park began replacing its diesel bus fleet with diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. The new Proterra Catalyst buses are expected annually to reduce 887,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions and save approximately $150,500 on maintenance and operating costs.
“Since its establishment in 1890, airborne pollutants have steadily degraded Yosemite’s resources,” said Yosemite National Park Acting Superintendent Chip Jenkins. “Deploying Proterra’s battery-electric buses will help with this ongoing challenge and will greatly improve local air quality.”
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has committed to greening the federal fleet, including the national parks, by working with businesses to make cleaner, quieter transportation readily available and affordable to partner agencies. As a result, GSA’s list of federal fleet acquisition options now includes the Proterra Catalyst.
“The Proterra team is especially proud to directly contribute to the preservation of Yosemite National Park.,” said Proterra President and CEO Ryan Popple. “We are honored to partner with the National Park Service to provide clean, quiet transportation to the millions of visitors who love to visit our national parks.”
With its headquarters in Burlingame, Proterra also has offices in the Los Angeles area in the City of Industry and in Greenville, South Carolina. The company currently has more than 490 electric buses operating in 61 different municipal, university, airport and commercial transit agencies in 29 states.