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People get on and off the Valley Regional Transit bus route 3 on Friday, Oct. 4 in Boise.

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Valley Regional Transit is purchasing eight electric buses to bring low-emission transportation to the Treasure Valley area.

VRT is purchasing the 35-foot buses and their charging systems from Proterra, a California company that builds heavy-duty electric transportation options. According to a press release from Proterra, VRT is their first customer in Idaho and first transit agency in the state to bring electric buses for public use.

VRT purchased the buses with a Federal Transit Administration grant for low or no emission vehicles. A quarter of VRT’s bus fleet will transition to the battery-electric buses.

“Battery-electric buses are better for the environment and offer a better rider experience for our community, and we’re excited to be working with Proterra to bring the first electric buses to Idaho,” VRT Executive Director Kelli Badesheim said in a press release.

VRT will be also be leasing the buses’ batteries. Money previously earmarked for fuel will be redirected to the battery lease.

Thomas Plank covers Ada County and growth in the Treasure Valley. You can follow him on Twitter at @ThomasPlankIP.

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