Duluth's next step in public transportation is electric

photo of the DTA operating center sign The Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) is about to take its next step into the future of eco-friendly bus transportation, which may prove to be a nice change of pace for the people of Duluth.

The DTA has been awarded funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase six Proterra electric buses and two charging stations, which are expected to arrive sometime in 2016.

The DTA and local bus riders around Duluth are equally excited about the new buses. Out of 70 cities around the country that applied for the funding, Duluth was one of six recipients that will be awarded funding.

According to Dennis Jensen, the General Manager of the DTA, this is only the beginning.

“It will be our next step into the future,” Jensen said. “I think people will really enjoy them.”

Bus riders around Duluth such as Erik Prescott, are excited about the prospects of having new fully-electric buses.

“I saw a sign about them, and I think it’s groovy,” Prescott said. “I don’t know much about it, but it sounds like it will be a good thing.”

He is exactly right. In the long run these buses will bring savings to the DTA, and they will be more convenient for the residents of Duluth.

“Electricity isn’t free, but we could see some savings with these buses in about 6 years.” Jensen said.

The Proterra buses will also be more eco-friendly for residents, in the sense that they are quiet and don't release any odor-ridden emissions.

“They are what is called a No-Lo bus, meaning they do not have exhaust.” Jensen said, “For the most part they will be a lot quieter driving around town.”

With potential savings for the city, and a quieter, less hassle ride, it sounds like the people of Duluth have something to be excited about for Duluth’s next step into the future of public transportation.

UMD students combine learning and giving through online competition

Where to watch the Wild playoff games in Duluth