Considering they are nearly silent, Proterra’s Catalyst bus makes a lot of noise as passersby cannot help but stare and ask questions about the striking vehicle.
Teal-colored, featuring a large octopus wrapping its tentacles around the Chicago skyline, the bus is a metaphor for the move towards being greener.
It’s a bold artistic choice to match a bold initiative. JLL, along with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), The Telos Group and Proterra, have rolled out the nation’s first electric, 100 percent zero-emission fleet of corporate buses. Starting in December, the fleet of 10 buses will take workers from Prudential Plaza and the Aon Center to the Ogilvie, Union and LaSalle Street commuter rail stations.
“JLL has embraced sustainability and the green movement through our partnerships with our clients and their properties around the country and the world,” Bryan Oyster, Senior Vice President at JLL and General Manager of the Prudential Plaza said at a press conference.
The new fleet, manufactured in Greenville, South Carolina by the Silicon Valley-based Proterra, runs on batteries that get the equivalent of 22 miles per gallon of diesel fuel. An average city bus only gets about four miles per gallon.
“The riders love that [these] are clean and quiet, the operators love that they are cost effective,” said Matt Horton, Proterra’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “You can carry 40 passengers around in a vehicle that’s about as efficient as a small SUV.”
Speaking about his company’s efforts to revitalize Prudential Plaza with a green initiative, Telos President Brian Whiting said, “It was hard to imagine that program with eight diesel buses idling outside of our doors.”
JLL leased the fleet from Proterra, partially funded by Drive Clean Chicago, an organization that partners with CDOT to provide incentives for fleet owners to convert to greener alternatives to diesel-run vehicles.
“We hope that this will the first of many projects like this,” said CDOT Assistant Commissioner Sean Weidel.
Check out photos from the press conference on October 27.