Mountain Line Celebrates Clean Air Month with 40% Electric Fleet

Mountain Line in Missoula, Montana has announced that 40 percent of its fixed-route bus fleet is now battery-electric. This coincides with the agency’s celebration of Clean Air Month throughout January and is a major milestone towards achieving its goal of a zero-emissions fleet at the point of use by 2035.

Mountain Line has operated battery-electric buses since 2019, when the agency conducted a six-bus pilot project funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s Low-or-No Emissions grant programme. Following the successful trial, Mountain Line has introduced an additional six electric buses, bringing its total to 12 battery-electric buses out of its 29 fixed-route buses.

Mountain Line electric fleet
40% of Mountain Line’s fixed-route buses are now battery-electric

This progress is crucial within the Missoula Valley, where transportation is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions.

Mountain Line CEO and General Manager, Corey Aldridge, said:

“While public transportation is already part of the solution, we’re taking it a step further by making our fleet more sustainable. Mountain Line has been an early adopter of battery-electric bus technology in the United States, which further lowers our tailpipe emissions to help keep our valley air clean and our community healthy.”

Mountain Line’s accomplishments were recognised last year, as it were named the top public transit agency in North America in its size by the American Public Transportation Association. The agency’s efficient electrification of its fleet was a significant factor in this accomplishment.

Mountain Line Electric Bus Fleet
Mountain Line provides more than 1.5 million rides annually, helping students get to school, employees get to work, and seniors stay active, mobile and independent
Aldridge said:

“We’ve learned a lot about operating an electric fleet in Montana, from weather's impact on battery life to high-voltage mechanics. Through our lessons learned, we’ve found a viable way forward and have become a resource for agencies across the nation ready to make a similar transition.”

Mountain Line also secured a third Low-or-No Emissions grant from the FTA in 2021, providing funds to purchase four additional electric buses that are set to be ordered this year.

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