MISSOULA – There still needs to be some testing and training but within a few weeks riders should be “amped up” to ride Mountain Line’s new electric buses.
Mountain Line took its first look at electric buses five years ago this summer and on Wednesday the transit system rolled out half a dozen of the new buses from Proterra, which is the same company that provided the electric buses already in use on the University of Montana campus.
City and business leaders and Mountain Line supporters took a ‘VIP ride” around Missoula on Wednesday morning, marveling at the quiet operation. Unlike old diesel-powered buses, it was easy for everyone to carry on multiple conversations during the ride.
It was then down to Caras Park where people got a chance to look at the new coaches during “Out to Lunch”…
“Yeah, we’re really excited about it. It’s been a long time. We’ve been looking at electric buses and trying to find funding for them. We found the funding,” Mountain Line General Manager Corey Aldridge. “The buses are finally arriving and it’s a really exciting day for Missoula and Mountain Line.”
“So we have six total buses coming in right now. We should expect the last one to come in August. There’s a lot of training for our maintenance staff and for our operators and supervisors,” Aldridge added. “And then we’ll put them on the road once we’re ready to go.”
Aldridge hopes Mountain Line will have the buses in service by September.