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Joel Malina, vice president for university relations, speaks during the Earth Day ceremony on the Ithaca Commons, at which Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit unveiled its seven new electric buses.

TCAT announces delivery of seven electric buses

With funding support from Cornell, the city of Ithaca and Tompkins County, Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) has purchased seven new electric buses, which were unveiled during an Earth Day ceremony April 22 on the Ithaca Commons.

The buses – which arrived last month from California-based automotive and energy storage company Proterra – cost approximately $1 million each and are the first steps in TCAT’s journey to a totally battery-electric fleet by 2035.

“Deploying these first seven buses is a major step toward that goal,” TCAT General Manager Scot Vanderpool said. “TCAT is proud to be doing our part to reduce the carbon footprint for future generations.”

The new buses began fare service on some of TCAT’s 34 routes on April 23. They replaced diesel-powered models as part of the company’s 55-bus fleet, which logs about 1.7 million miles per year.

Among the speakers at the Earth Day event was Joel Malina, Cornell’s vice president for university relations.

“Cornell is extremely proud as a long-time supporter from day 1,” Malina said. TCAT was formed in 1991, combining previously separate bus services run by the city, county and university.

“Congratulations, first and foremost, to the innovative, forward-thinking TCAT staff for their efforts, on Earth Day 2021, and every day,” he said. “Their leadership in promoting and developing a bus system with a focus on sustainability has never been more evident than today.”

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Abby Butler