This week’s Route of the Week is a little different - we are exploring the new Proterra Catalyst. Yes, we know this technically isn’t a route, but it is our new battery-electric bus that will one day be queen of the streets of Philadelphia. The Proterra Catalyst is a 40-foot bus that weighs 27,370 lbs - 2,000 lbs lighter than other 40-foot buses. With 40 seats, the Catalyst can hold up to 77 passengers and travel 700 miles in 24 hours. A full charge for the bus can take as little as 90 minutes and has a range of 180 miles. A quick charge takes just 5-10 minutes and has a range of up to 50 miles. Charging stations for these buses will be at SEPTA’s Southern Depot in South Philadelphia. This bus can reach a top speed of 65 MPH.
The Proterra Catalyst riding around City Hall
The newest addition to SEPTA’s fleet will begin traveling on Routes 29 and 79 in South Philadelphia in 2017. These routes were chosen because of their short length and flat terrain. 25 of these buses will be delivered thanks to a grant of $2,585,075 from the Federal Transit Administration. The grant covers the cost of the 25 buses.
So, what’s so special about the Proterra Catalyst? Well, these buses will enable SEPTA to significantly reduce operating costs! These “clean and quiet” buses have lower maintenance and fuel costs than any other bus type, and zero tailpipe emissions. Each year, a diesel fueled bus gives off 300,960 lbs of Greenhouse gases and 243,980 lbs of carbon dioxide, while our electric buses will give off zero.
If you don’t feel like waiting until 2017 to check out our new battery-electric bus, no worries! The Proterra Catalyst is in town THIS WEEK for the DNC. If you happen to see it riding around town, snap a picture and post it to social media with #SEPTAINABLE and you could win a Proterra/ISEPTAPHILLY gift bag. Find out more details here.
For a schedule of where the Proterra Catalyst will be during the DNC week, click here.
For more information on the Electric Bus and the Evolution of the SEPTA Bus click here.