On Friday, April 5, Greenlink Transit in Greenville, South Carolina unveiled four brand new electric buses that will bring clean, quiet transportation and economic opportunity to the community. This event had special significance for both the community and Proterra, which has its largest vehicle manufacturing facility in Greenville and built the buses just 15 minutes away from the Greenlink Transit Center. More than 200 people came out to support the launch including Proterra employees, state and local government leaders and members of the community.
“Imagine a future where everyone in Greenville County travels to work in less than 30 minutes on a system that runs entirely on electricity and emits no toxic gas or smog,” said George Campbell, chairman of the Greenville Transit Authority Board of Directors. “This vision is powered by machines made right here in Greenville and will help expand economic opportunity for every citizen that needs to get to work or school.”
A Public-Private Collaboration
The deployment of battery-electric buses in Greenville is a great example of a successful public-private partnership. Years of collaboration between the Greenville Transit Authority, Greenville County, the City of Greenville and Proterra, along with support from partners such as Duke Energy, have culminated to bring modern electric vehicle technology to the community. For Proterra employees, the launch event provided an exciting opportunity to celebrate the deployment of buses manufactured by them in their hometown, where family and friends can experience the clean, quiet rider experience firsthand.
Greenlink won funding to purchase zero-emission buses through the competitive U.S. Federal Transit Administration Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment grant program. Additionally, local and state government leaders pledged their support with matching funds to help bring four 40-foot Proterra Catalyst® buses to Greenville. Each of the buses eliminates 230,000 lbs of CO2 per year when it replaces a diesel bus. Additionally, with an electric motor that has fewer parts than a standard combustion engine, Proterra electric transit vehicles cost less to operate and maintain.
“If you want to be at the cutting edge of battery electric technology, you come to Greenville,” said Mayor Knox White. “It should therefore be our aspiration that we have an all-electric fleet that uses the technology developed right here.”
Built by Greenville, for Greenville
Greenville has been a center of excellence for vehicle technology and embraces Proterra’s local presence as an industry leader in electric vehicle design and manufacturing. Proterra established its Greenville facility 8 years ago and continues to bring economic opportunity to the region and leverage its talented workforce. As a U.S.-based manufacturer with offices in Greenville, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, Proterra is proud to be revolutionizing North American transit with the most battery-electric buses delivered across the continent.
“These buses are built by Greenville, for Greenville,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “The community support and partnerships have been unparalleled, and as we continue to grow as a leader in battery-electric vehicle technology, we are proud to bring well-paying manufacturing jobs to the community we call home.
Inspiring the Next Generation in Greenville
It’s an exciting time to explore a career in mass transit, with industry-transforming changes in technology well-underway. Proterra currently employs more than 250 people in Greenville out of a total of over 500 across the country and has a wide variety of jobs open from engineering to manufacturing and service. At Proterra, we recruit employees who are passionate about delivering clean, quiet transportation for all and who are eager to learn new skills in a growing industry through on-the-job training. For more career opportunities in mass transit, check out the American Public Transportation Association Career Day on May 16, where local transit agencies will be highlighting a vast array of career opportunities in public transportation.
In addition to recruiting and training the workforce for today’s manufacturing jobs, Proterra is also passionate about inspiring the next generation of innovators to join the future of transportation. On April 6, Proterra partnered with Greenlink to showcase its new electric buses at the iMAGINE Upstate annual festival, which is designed to showcase pre-K – 12 education and career pathways in science, technology, arts, engineering and math (STEAM) through hands-on learning. Children and parents in the community were able to visit a Proterra battery-powered electric bus and learn about zero-emission technology through hands-on activities. Not only was the festival an opportunity to showcase the latest clean vehicle technology, made locally, but it also got the community excited to ride their new Greenlink electric buses.