Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Inc. (TCAT) is a not-for-profit corporation that provides public transportation for Tompkins County, New York, including Cornell University. As of 2022, TCAT provides roughly 3 million rides covering a distance of nearly 1.5 million miles.
TCAT launched seven all-electric buses and eight overhead chargers from Proterra on Earth Day in 2021, marking a significant milestone in their efforts to go all-electric by 2035. We chatted with Scot Vanderpool, TCAT’s General Manager, to discuss the electrification journey.
What motivated your agency to set the goal of going all-electric?
Scot: The Ithaca community is very supportive of green initiatives and appreciative of emission-free buses. While this was a motivator, our team is also very set on doing the right thing for our planet and reducing carbon emissions.
How have Proterra buses performed through Ithaca’s winter weather and terrain?
Scot: Ithaca’s temperatures can drop to an average low of 15°F in January. The Proterra buses have performed admirably through these cold temperatures.
Ithaca has a lot of hills and valleys, and the buses are constantly climbing, especially on our primary route to Cornell. The buses can handle this terrain easily, and our regenerative braking training has enabled us to regenerate enough power to keep our range lasting about 13 hours.
How has Proterra been a resource to your agency through the beginning stages of your journey to electrifying your fleet?
Scot: We wanted to choose a company that has buses with good range and a team with battery expertise, which Proterra provides. Through the electrification process, having support and training along the way is essential. Proterra has a response time like no other bus company we have worked with and can always connect us to the best person on their team to answer any questions.