GoRaleigh and their elusive electric buses

About one year ago, GoRaleigh took delivery of five battery electric buses from Proterra - 2 40’ buses of their earlier Catalyst model (the same that GoTriangle, Duke University, and RDU Airport have) and 3 35’ buses of their newer ZX5 model. These buses are what seem to come out whenever GoRaleigh has some press event or some special occasion to show them off but good luck getting one in regular daily service. Outside of one big rollout day last August and a couple scattered other days, they’re kept in the garage on Poole Road as if they were fine porcelain in bus form.

I know Proterra’s buses have had some issues in some cities - see the issues SEPTA had with theirs or how in northern cities such as Worcester or Duluth they don’t make it out if the weather is cold or bad - but what’s keeping GoRaleigh from having them in regular service rather than using them for photo ops only. GoRaleigh’s official take is that they do enter regular service but the odds of seeing one in regular service has slightly less luck than seeing a real live unicorn, at least that’s what I observe doing fleet searches on Transee.. This when the 2021 CNG Gilligs that followed seem to get everyday use and the 2022s that will be following their lead and GoRaleigh is still using some of the 35’ ex-GoTriangle buses they’re running on lesser routes. What’s really happening here to keep a sub-fleet of buses for solely special occasions especially as some of the ex-CAT buses that are pushing the 12-year mark are not in good shape.

I’ll stop before crafting a theory about the 35’ buses being bought for the next rebooot of the R Line as a showplace, just like the handful of hybrid Gilligs they had and dumped as soon as they hit 12 years. :joy:

They say this transit plan will get the best bang of our buck but is it really?

They rotate them between routes so they’re not accused of route bias.

Just spot an electric bus used for Route 6.


If they want real ridership the whole feet should be this.

1 Like

I noticed they have two out this morning, 2102 is out and 2104 was out earlier.

As for going to an all-electric fleet, keep in mind that this technology barely existed a decade ago and then was quite problematic to have put all their energies in. Smaller systems are easier to convert, Asheville is going all-electric going forward and Rock Hill, SC started a ground-up system that is all-electric a few years back.

1 Like

It’s a matter of how quickly they can roll out of the factory parking lot, too. There’s high demand by municipalities all over the U.S. and just not that many builders, assembly lines or parts yet.

I didn’t realize this thread was here.

Saw one, didn’t hear it ;), early morning by the capital.

Made me smile


Spotted! Pretty sure this was my first time seeing one of these irl


when i lived in reno, nv they had one. it might had been part of a test program. while riding, unless at the very back it wasnt much different than a hyrbrid or diesel. all the panels still rattle and creek. as far as charge time,cost or asset life compared to other busses im not sure.

Do they still do the “laughing” sound while braking??

Let’s play a game. You get a point for each day you spot and post a photo of an electric bus. :grinning:


Oh I like gamification!

Do I get half a point or a negative point for this?

1 Like

You can post that in the Compressed Natural Gas powered bus thread, see if the moderators there care at all. :grinning:


Caught one trying to sneak by me the other day.