MARTA Goes Green with New Electric Buses

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Residents in Fulton and DeKalb counties will soon see a new electric bus added to various routes. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is going green with a pilot program debuting Proterra’s Catalyst electric bus.

The 40-foot Catalyst is on loan to MARTA for the next 30 days as the Authority explores cleaner transportation options. MARTA’s General Manager/CEO Keith Parker led a tour of the new electric bus on March 17.

“We can’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to providing services to our customers,” said Parker. “Whether we are utilizing a shorter 30-foot bus for various circulator routes or a higher-capacity double-decker bus for our most traveled routes, it’s about identifying the best option for addressing our customers’ needs.”

Currently, MARTA’s bus fleet is inclusive of diesel, hybrid and compressed natural gas vehicles. “MARTA continues to consider options to diversify our fleet by testing a range of alternative fuel innovations to greatly reduce our overall carbon footprint while enhancing the safety and comfort of our passengers,” Parker said.

The Catalyst, which fully recharges in less than 10 minutes, holds up to 40 seated passengers and can travel more than three hours on a single charge. MARTA Operations has outfitted the test routes with periodic rapid charging stations. 

“As a central hub for the region, the Atlanta metropolitan area is a perfect location for residents and visitors to experience the benefits of our American-made, state-of-the-art electric buses,” said Proterra’s Regional Director of Sales Mike Hennessy. “We’re pleased to work with MARTA on this demonstration project, and look forward to continue helping the Atlanta community transition to a sustainable transportation future.”