Proterra to Deploy Fully Electric Bus Fleet in Downtown Chicago

Electric transportation company Proterra and JLL, a professional services firm specializing in real estate, have reached a commercial agreement to provide commuter shuttle services in downtown Chicago via a fleet of 10 Catalyst electric buses.

According to Proterra, the service will operate between Chicago’s commuter train stations and two of the city’s tallest buildings – the iconic Prudential Plaza and Aon Center – both of which are managed by JLL.

The companies note that the lease of 10 Proterra Catalyst shuttle buses represents two industry milestones: The shuttle service will be the first in the U.S. to operate a 100% zero-emission electric bus fleet and one of the first commercial customers to lease electric buses. By replacing older diesel models, this zero-emission, corporate fleet helps Chicago work toward its goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

“By leasing the buses, Proterra customers can electrify their fleets with no out-of-pocket cost and total annual payments and costs equivalent to the total operating costs of a leased diesel bus,” says Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra.

Funded in part by Drive Clean Chicago, JLL will lease the Proterra buses for its shuttle service for Prudential Plaza and Aon Center tenants who are commuting to and from the Ogilvie, Union and LaSalle Street commuter rail stations. As reported, each building will lease five Proterra buses.

Proterra says the program will begin in December 2016.

“Creating greener transportation options and cleaner air for all Chicagoans are key pillars of the City of Chicago’s sustainability goals,” comments Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “This zero-emission fleet is exactly the type of progress we intend to create through Drive Clean Chicago. We look forward to seeing how other fleets respond to the precedent this sets.”

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