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MOUNTAIN LINE DEBUTS FIRST BATTERY ELECTRIC BUS

A blue and orange bus parked in front of a building.

Spot the bus during the first week of service to win prizes

FLAGSTAFF, AZ (April 24, 2023) –Mountain Line’s first battery-electric bus is officially going into service on April 26, marking a new era in low-emission fleet technology for the community.

The Gillig Battery Electric Bus is the first of two grant-funded zero-emission buses in the Mountain Line fleet, with the second bus expected later this year. In addition to federal grant funding, Arizona Public Service (APS) is partnering with Mountain Line to study how electric vehicles and charging infrastructure interact with the electric grid. Mountain Line will share battery charging data with APS to inform the utility’s customer programs and energy resource planning.

Mountain Line’s decision to invest in electric buses is guided by the agency’s Zero Emission Bus Transition Plan, which provides an analysis of various zero emission technology options and maps out the logistics, budget, and infrastructure needed to achieve this milestone.

Mountain Line has already received federal grant funding to purchase four additional electric buses and will continue to pursue funding to replace the existing hybrid-electric buses as they reach the end of their useful life. Flagstaff voters approved a 2008 proposition to fund the purchase of hybrid-electric buses and 10 years later, Mountain Line was the first transit system in the U.S. to operate a 100 percent hybrid-electric fleet.

When Mountain Line fully transitions to an all-electric fleet, it will reduce local greenhouse gas emissions by 68 percent. Replacing just one hybrid bus with an electric bus reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by 61 tons, which is the equivalent of removing almost 10 passenger cars from the road each year. At full conversion, this would equal almost 300 cars a year.

The electric bus will be on different routes around town for the first week of service and the public is invited to spot the bus, post it on Facebook and tag Mountain Line at @FLGMountainLine for a chance to win prizes. The contest is open April 26 – May 3. Visit www.mountainline.az.gov/electric for more information.

“Mountain Line’s transition to a zero-emission fleet is a critical component in achieving our community’s carbon neutrality goals,” said Mountain Line CEO and General Manager Heather Dalmolin. “We remain committed to completing this transition in a fiscally responsible manner, monitoring new developments in the electric vehicle realm, and adapting our plans to best serve the Flagstaff community.”

“As the Flagstaff Community makes progress in decarbonizing transportation, this is an opportunity to learn more about how customers use electric vehicles and how they interact with our smart grid,” said Kerri Carnes, APS Director of Customer Technology.

Mountain Line is the transit agency in northern Arizona operating fixed route bus service on nine routes, paratransit service, vanpool, and seasonal Mountain Express service to Arizona Snowbowl.  www.mountainline.az.gov for more information.