New Shuttle Buses are Eco-Friendly and Cost-Effective
Raleigh-Durham International Airport will introduce four new electric, zero-emission buses into service this weekend, making the airport the first public body in the Research Triangle region to use electric buses. The 40-foot transit buses will primarily be used to shuttle passengers from ParkRDU Economy lots to both terminals.
“RDU is proud to be the first public entity in the Research Triangle region to deploy eco-friendly electric buses,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “We believe our customers will enjoy the smooth, quiet ride, and we think they will share our appreciation for the buses’ environmental benefits and lower operating costs.”
RDU purchased the Proterra Catalyst E2 buses for about $3.4 million, with the federal government paying nearly half the cost through grant funds. The buses have about 175 miles of operating range and will provide a quieter experience and quicker acceleration. Lower maintenance costs and the price of electricity compared to diesel fuel are projected to save $350,000 over each vehicle’s lifetime.
“Raleigh-Durham International Airport has been a leader among U.S. airports and the Research Triangle region in introducing zero-emission buses, which bring economic and environmental benefits to RDU customers and employees,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “We’re excited to celebrate with RDU today on their deployment of four electric buses made nearby in Greenville, South Carolina and their commitment to providing clean, quiet transportation to the community.”
The Airport Zero Emissions Airport Vehicle and Infrastructure Pilot Program allows airports such as RDU to use federal funds to purchase zero-emissions vehicles and associated infrastructure, and provides grant funds for up to 50 percent of those costs. The program, launched in 2012, is designed to improve airport air quality and facilitate the use of zero-emissions technologies at airports.