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Park City Kicks Off All-Electric Bus Route; Buses First Step to BRT Service

Battery-electric buses recently made their first appearance operating in regular service in Park City, UT, with the introduction of six 40-foot Proterra vehicles on Park City Transit’s 6.8-mile Electric Xpress route, which ultimately will become BRT.

The buses were funded through a $3.9 million FTA Low or No Emission (Low-No) Program grant.

Blake Fonnesbeck, Park City transit and public works ­director, said at the unveiling of the buses, “We are over a year ahead of our implementation goals. This is due to such strong partnerships between stakeholders helping to bring this from paper to passengers.”

The free bus service operates every 10 minutes, seven days a week, on a limited-stop route connecting two transit centers. Passengers also will be able to make regional connections on the Park City/Salt Lake City Connect bus through a partnership with Summit County and the Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City.

Darren Davis, Park City transit manager, said the agency will introduce BRT service once buses can use roadside shoulders and public transit bus signal priority units are installed. This will allow buses to navigate high-volume traffic roads more quickly than a personal vehicle. Davis added, “Our goal is to get community buy-in, making transit and BRT part of an everyday routine and to educate visitors that transit is a better option.”

The Proterra buses can undergo five-minute charges with overhead charging stations at both transit hubs. Passenger amenities include seat back USB power outlets, system-wide free Wi-Fi, oversized windows and special seating. The exterior bus wrap design, created by Utah artist Dave Titensor of Titan Design, showcases road and mountain bicyclists, skiers, snowboarders and other winter athletes.

The introduction of all-electric buses is just one component of Park City’s goal for its operations to be net-zero carbon and powered by 100 percent renewable electricity by 2022.

Park City Transit and Public Works Director Blake Fonnesbeck spoke at ceremonies to unveil Park City Transit’s six Electric Xpress buses from Proterra.

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