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TCAT reverts to diesel buses amid electric transition challenges

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) has decided to acquire five new diesel buses, veering off its path to an emission-free fleet by 2035, due to reliability issues with its electric buses.

The Ithaca Voice reports TCAT has faced difficulties, especially during Ithaca’s harsh winters, with its electric buses underperforming and proving difficult to repair.


This shift aims to enhance service stability for riders, as explained by TCAT Acting General Manager Matt Rosenbloom-Jones, who emphasized the importance of reliable transportation over environmentally unfriendly alternatives like personal cars or rideshare options.

The decision to purchase diesel buses from Gillig for around $2.5 million, funded by state allocations, comes after Proterra, the electric bus manufacturer, declared bankruptcy, complicating maintenance due to parts unavailability.