The University of South Florida is taking steps to support a more sustainable environment by debuting its first zero-emission electric bus in the Bull Runner fleet on the Tampa campus. The new Proterra 40-foot Catalyst E2 bus rolled out for the first time on Thursday, April 22, in conjunction with Earth Day.
According to the manufacturer, replacing a diesel bus with an electric bus reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 230,000 pounds annually, which is equivalent to planting 5,000 trees. Electric buses also produce less noise pollution in the community and offer riders a smoother experience.
The new bus was jointly funded by the university’s Student Green Energy Fund and USF Parking and Transportation Services. The Student Green Energy Fund was launched in 2011 to support USF’s commitment to reduce and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the Tampa campus.
“The University of South Florida is excited for the continued partnership between Parking and Transportation Services and the Student Green Energy Fund that has made this project possible,” said Raymond Mensah, director of USF Parking and Transportation and a member of the Student Green Energy Fund Council. “By launching a zero-emission electric bus, we are making a large stride in reaching our sustainability goals and reducing our carbon footprint.”
The new bus weighs approximately 37,000 pounds and can hold up to 70 passengers. It can travel up to 350 miles on a single charge. The bus can be fully charged from zero percent battery life in approximately six hours.
Bull Runner debuted the electric bus outside the Marshall Student Center from 11 AM to 2 PM on Earth Day. Visitors to the event could tour the bus, learn about sustainabilty at USF, and recieve a thank you gift for stopping by.