Motor Coach Industries (MCI) announced today that sustainability pioneer Coach Atlantic Maritime Bus will be the first Canadian operator to demonstrate MCI’s new battery-electric MCI D45 CRTe LE coach this spring.
Cassidy Group’s T3 Transit, a municipal transit brand, was the first to bring a battery-electric low floor transit bus made by MCI sister company New Flyer for testing on transit routes serving greater Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island in 2018.
“We’re excited to introduce the future of battery-electric transportation to the Maritimes through our work with New Flyer and now MCI, where we’ve operated MCI coaches for many years,” said Mike Cassidy, Principal of the Cassidy Group. “This new all electric D45 CRTe LE demo will allow us to demonstrate its revolutionary accessibility features while gathering data to plan our future fleet.”
MCI’s Patrick Scully, vice president of sales, marketing and customer service, said that Coach Atlantic’s established record in green transportation makes the company a desired partner for MCI’s development of zero-emissions technology.
“Operators like Coach Atlantic Maritime Bus and Mike Cassidy are leading the all-electric discussion in North American for scheduled and charter service, and we’re honored to have them test one of our first all-electric D45 CRTe LE model headed into production this year,” Scully said.
The Maritime tour and demonstration, beginning in mid-March, will be the first for Canada. MCI launched the all-electric D45 CRTe LE CHARGE model at a high-profile event at its California Bay Area Service Center on October 1, 2019, followed by demonstrations with both private employee transportation programs and public sector agencies with long distance express routes in the U.S.
The MCI D45 CRTe LE CHARGE is a major step for the MCI D-Series, which is the industry’s all-time best-selling coach. The redesigned next-generation model features a revolutionary patented LE (Low Entry) vestibule with a seating area and a ramp that significantly improves dwell times and the boarding and ride experience for passengers with disabilities.
Winner of the 2020 UMA Environmental Sustainability Award
Cassidy and Coach Atlantic Maritime Bus received the MCI-sponsored 2020 Leadership in Environmental Sustainability Award during the United Motor Coach Association (UMA) EXPO for a broad suite of green practices, including a conservation commitment that applies inside and outside the business. Coach Atlantic utilizes idle-free driver training programs offered by the University of Vermont’s Certification for Sustainable Transportation (CST) program in addition to aggressive recycling programs companywide.
Mike Cassidy himself is in the forefront of fuel conservation by advocating for electric buses and actively supporting alternative fuel research – including biodiesel made from wood chips and other organic materials. Active and knowledgeable in agriculture, Cassidy has begun to grow haskap berries – a plant specific to northern climates — for their health properties in addressing serious diseases.
The Cassidy Group is also supporting research at the University of Prince Edward Island in the study of sea lettuce, a water plant harmful to marine life, to learn of its potential in creating new plant-based biostimulants and natural pharmaceutical products.
“Green innovation knows no limits at this company, and they’re a great example of environmental leadership in our industry,” said Patricia Ziska, MCI vice president of new coach sales. “We look forward to working with them on future green initiatives including tracking the performance of the D45 CRTe LE and its ability to meet the requirements of their application.”
In accepting the 2020 MCI Leadership in Environmental Sustainability Award, Cassidy expressed his passion for the industry’s ability to take cars off the road to mitigate traffic congestion and improve air quality.
“What would you rather see, investments in cars or motorcoaches?” he said to members of the industry. “Our green message needs to be visible to the riding public. By working together, we can truly move our message forward, making travel by motor coach attractive beyond its convenience and affordability but for its environmental benefits to North America.”