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Duluth Shifting to Clean Bus Fleet

Nonprofits praise city for pollution-fighting change

For Immediate Release

From: Coalition for Clean Transportation

Contact: Noa Shavit-Lonstein, 651-233-4210 /

The Coalition for Clean Transportation applauds Duluth Transit Authority for purchasing seven zero-emission transit buses, to be put into commission today.

The new buses, from American manufacturer Proterra, will have no tailpipe emissions, improving air quality in Duluth for all residents. They will also have a lower carbon output than traditional buses, and can be charged primarily on local wind energy overnight. Adding these seven electric vehicles to a 77-vehicle fleet represents a major step towards a clean vehicle future for Duluth Transit.

"It’s exciting to have a forward-looking Transit Authority taking action to reduce emissions,” said Kelsey Jones-Casey, of Duluth, the Statewide Climate Justice Program Manager with TakeAction Minnesota. “Duluthians want bold solutions for a clean future. These buses take us one step closer to Duluth’s commitment to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050."

The city’s buses were purchased with the help of several relevant grants, including $6.3 million from the Federal Transit Administration, and $1.1 million from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. These grants will help the city save substantially on vehicle repair and fuel costs over the life of the buses. The buses will also allow manufacturers to prove the capability of battery-powered vehicles in cold weather climates.

By promoting zero-emission vehicles, Duluth is taking its first steps towards cutting down pollution that causes health problems and climate damage. Instead, its buses can be powered by electricity, including Minnesota-made renewable power.

The Coalition for Clean Transportation, an alliance of Minnesota nonprofits working to promote a just transition to zero-emission vehicles across the state. Members have been working with Metro Transit in the Twin Cities region for a similar charge forward on bus electrification.

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