ABC Companies highlights sustainable travel during Seattle event

As part of its Zero Emissions Tour, ABC Companies made a stop in Seattle to highlight sustainable travel. 

The gathering showcased the 75-passenger Proterra-powered battery-electric Van Hool TDX25E double-deck motorcoach. 

Partnering with ABC Companies are electric battery manufacturer Proterra and Seattle-based MTRWestern, the Pacific Northwest’s leading provider of bus, motorcoach and corporate transportation. 

Piloting the use of this industry-leading motorcoach, which can travel in excess of 260 miles between charges, MTRWestern is bringing zero-emissions travel to many of its clients in the United States and Canada. 

Highlighting ‘firsts’

The program culminated with a celebration of select stakeholders, environmentally focused businesses and government officials, highlighting “firsts” for MTRWestern and the ABC Companies Zero Emissions Tour, including:

  • The first-ever zero-emissions international revenue service route with cross-border service between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Zero-emissions travel options for several charter and scheduled service routes carrying up to 75 passengers.

The partners co-sponsored a reception event on July 27 at the Victor Tavern in the Denny Triangle neighborhood of Seattle, where guests had the opportunity to network and learn more about the tour and how MTRWestern is utilizing the zero-emissions Van Hool TDX25E in scheduled fleet operations on both sides of the U.S./Canadian border. 

Special guests

Special guests included Washington state Sen. Christine Rolfes, Washington state Rep. Nicole Macri, and Howard Wright, Chair of Seattle Hospitality Group (SHG), which owns MTRWestern, as well as leaders from regional big tech and energy provider organizations. 

ABC Companies
ABC Companies’ Van Hool TDX25E double-deck motorcoach in front of the Seattle Museum of Pop Culture. (ABC Companies)

Also in attendance was Michael Mann, Executive Director for Clean & Prosperous Washington, who addressed the importance of reducing carbon emissions to improve health and job outcomes and propel a stronger, more competitive economy in the state of Washington. 

“This tour gave stakeholders an opportunity to literally kick the tires of innovation,” said Mann.  “We saw that the technology exists to squeeze the pollution out of our transportation system. Now, we simply need policymakers to get the incentives right to make it happen.”

First-hand experience

During the event, guests were invited to enjoy a first-hand experience aboard the TDX25E as part of a vehicle demonstration, including a test drive. Earlier in the day, the bus traveled to the Seattle Center for photo ops showcasing iconic Seattle landmarks, including the Space Needle, the Amazon Spheres and the Seattle Museum of Pop Culture.

“The gathering allowed key zero-emissions advocates to discuss the significant progress and readiness of the unique electric vehicles available today featured in the ABC Zero Emissions Tour, while also bringing attention to the growing challenges presented by limited publicly available chargers for commercial passenger vehicles,” said Thom Peebles, Vice President of Marketing for ABC Companies.

“These vehicles are available and ‘in market’ now, and not only operate with zero emissions but also remove up to 75 vehicles from the roadways per trip while in operation. The significant impact they can make is what we are trying to raise awareness of within the ABC Zero Emissions Tour. They should be a priority in infrastructure planning.”   

A bridge to sustainability

Jeremy Butzlaff, President of MTRWestern, added that the tour provides an unprecedented opportunity to show customers, along with industry and government leaders on both sides of the U.S./Canada border, the company’s commitment to “literally building a bridge to sustainability. We are proud and pleased to be the first U.S. operator to connect riders to two of the most beautiful cities in North America in a zero-emissions transport experience.”

The integration of all-electric options into MTRWestern services signals the progress and multitude of benefits zero-emissions ground transportation brings to fleets and the communities they serve. 

MTRWestern and Proterra’s involvement in the ABC Companies Zero Emissions Tour is key to educating stakeholders and lawmakers about the critical role high-capacity passenger vehicles like the Van Hool TDX25E motorcoach play in reducing greenhouse emissions in the transportation sector. 

Recent stops in the U.S. tour have already attracted the attention of the media and elected officials, who see this as a tangible example of growing infrastructure needs to address vehicles that are in service today. 

Zero-emissions travel ‘a reality now’

“We’re excited about the continued tour rollout, and the opportunities it offers operators like MTRWestern to raise awareness about our industry’s significant contribution to environmental sustainability in transforming our local and regional communities, while also having an impact on global carbon reduction,” said Roman Cornell, President and Chief Commercial Officer of ABC Companies. 

He added that, through the tour and with the growing number of electric vehicles ABC Companies has sold and currently supports, companies like MTRWestern are pioneering the many benefits of zero-emissions transportation in their communities and with their customers.

“We want our customers and communities to understand that zero-emissions travel is a reality now, even as technology and infrastructure are still growing,” said MTRWestern’s Butzlaff. “As part of our participation in the tour, we are excited to give our passengers a rare opportunity to experience zero-emissions travel firsthand that will lead to a transformation that is top of mind with the public and our government.”

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