Location: Park City, UT
Fleet Type: Electric Transit Buses

 

Narrative

In the picturesque town of Park City, Utah, a determined effort was set in motion to achieve an audacious climate target – achieving a net-zero carbon footprint from municipal operations by the year 2022. A pivotal moment arrived in the summer of 2017 when Park City Transit partnered with Proterra, a frontrunner in the realm of heavy-duty electric transportation. The partnership’s objective: to roll out Utah’s inaugural zero-emission, battery-electric mass transit fleet, marking a significant stride toward sustainability and environmental responsibility. Park City’s commitment to mitigating its carbon impact gained traction as it secured financing through the competitive Low-No Emissions Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. With this backing, the city initiated a transformative project by deploying six battery-electric Proterra Catalyst FC+ buses, collectively known as the “Electric Xpress.” These emission-free buses embarked on a 15-minute journey between Kimball Junction and Main Street in Park City, effectively establishing the region as a trailblazer in battery-electric mass transit within mountain resort communities. The ambitious endeavor didn’t stop there. Over the following years, Park City Transit continued to expand its fleet of electric buses. Seven more electric buses joined the ranks in 2018, an additional seven integrated in 2022, and more funding is anticipated to fuel further growth. This progression thrusts Park City Transit on the precipice of a remarkable achievement: transforming more than half of its transit fleet into battery-electric vehicles, solidifying its leadership in the domain of sustainable transportation. This harmonious effort underscores the potential of government-industry collaboration in driving significant change, echoing a broader call for a greener future.  Further marking Park City’s commitment to a robust transit system,  the Utah Department of Transportation received funding on behalf of Park City Transit in 2023 to improve more than 72 bus stops, including rider amenities, from the FTA’s Bus and Bus Facilities discretionary grant program.

“Park City is a critically important economic driver for our state, hosting millions of visitors each year. Over the past decade, Park City has also been a leader in sustainable transit development — with more than half of its fleet transitioning to electric buses,” said Senator Romney. “This $7.4 million grant will fund the remainder of Park City’s bus stop redevelopment program, which will provide visitors with modernized transit services — which is especially critical as Utah contends to host another Winter Olympic Games in the very near future.” Senator Mitt Romney Jun 28, 2023

Outputs 

  • Electric Bus Deployment: Park City Transit’s deployment of battery-electric Proterra buses marked the inception of a zero-emission mass transit fleet.
  • Partnership Success: The partnership between Park City Transit and Proterra led to the successful integration of innovative electric transportation solutions into the community.
  • Fleet Expansion: Incremental additions of electric buses, with a total of twenty vehicles by the end of the year, showcased Park City’s ongoing commitment to sustainable transit.
  • Infrastructure Development: The implementation of electric vehicle charging stations solidified the infrastructure necessary to sustain the growing electric bus fleet.
  • Employee Training: Training initiatives ensured a knowledgeable and skilled workforce capable of effectively operating and maintaining the new electric buses.

Outcomes

The results of this collaboration were profound. Park City became a shining example of a community that strategically pursued its climate goals by embracing innovative solutions. The introduction of the Electric Xpress service not only reduced GHG emissions by an estimated 917 tons in 2020 but also revitalized public transportation options, offering clean, quiet, and efficient rides to residents and visitors spanning various neighborhoods, including renowned areas like Park City Resort, Canyons Village, Silver Springs, Silver Lake Village, Empire Pass, and Park Meadows.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

  • Bold Goal Setting: Park City’s ambitious net-zero carbon footprint goal acted as a catalyst, inspiring meaningful action and innovation.
  • Strategic Partnerships: Collaborating with industry leaders like Proterra can accelerate the implementation of sustainable solutions and provide access to valuable expertise.
  • Financial Support: Seeking grants and exploring innovative financing models can make eco-friendly initiatives financially viable.
  • Incremental Expansion: Phased deployment of electric buses allowed Park City Transit to gather experience, refine operations, and build community support.
  • Community Engagement: Communicating the benefits of electric buses and involving stakeholders fosters enthusiasm and buy-in for sustainable projects.
  • Infrastructure Readiness: The provision of charging stations and employee training ensured the smooth transition to electric bus service operations.

See Motorweek’s Episode 3903 “Electric City” with a highlight of Park City Transit at 2:20: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tes1Z_kanLA&t

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Park City Transit Fleet Story

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