Press Releases

Resort-area transit authority goes electric

August 2020

POWER to provide owner’s engineering, design

Mountain Rides, the public transit agency in the Sun Valley resort area, plans to switch to electric buses by 2027.

HAILEY, Idaho (August 10, 2020) ‒ By July 2021, public transportation users in the Wood River Valley will be riding on Mountain Rides Transportation Authority’s (MRTA) new electric buses. MRTA plans to electrify a portion of their bus fleet in order to cut overall emissions as they retire aging diesel buses currently in use.

“Against the backdrop of global climate change, as well as the commitment in our pristine alpine valley to sustainability, resilience, and environmental preservation, Mountain Rides is fully committed to instituting a 100% zero-emissions vehicle fleet,” said Wally Morgus, Executive Director of MRTA. “Once accomplished, replacing our diesel buses with a fleet of battery electric buses stands to eliminate upwards of 1,100 TONS of CO2 emissions annually from the skies over the Wood River Valley, a meaningful impact that Mountain Rides is proud to deliver.”

For the first phase of the bus electrification project, MRTA will acquire and put in service four 35-foot battery electric Xcelsior Charge buses from New Flyer of America. The project will also entail the acquisition and installation of 480 volt, dual-port charging stations manufactured by ABB, in Mountain Rides’ Ketchum and Bellevue depots, as well as installing the infrastructure to support the chargers, including new service transformers.

Eventually, MRTA plans to have ten buses and seven chargers in Bellevue and eight buses and six chargers in Ketchum.

To provide owner’s engineer services and design the new chargers and transformers, MRTA has hired Hailey-based POWER Engineers, Inc. In addition to design, POWER will work with outside stakeholders such as electric utility Idaho Power, electric bus manufacturer New Flyer, the electrical installation contractor, local inspectors and others to ensure that the electrical needs of MRTA are met and the project proceeds smoothly.

“This project represents the future of fleet transportation. We are excited to be working alongside MRTA to bring electric buses to the area. We also live and work in the valley, so it’s a win-win for us,” said Jason Marenda, POWER project manager.

The buses will be paid for by Low-No Emissions grants from the Federal Transit Administration and by Volkswagen Mitigation Fund grant awards administered locally by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Mountain Rides plans to convert its entire fleet of diesel buses to battery electric buses by 2027.

About Mountain Rides Transportation Authority: Mountain Rides is the full-service public transportation provider for Blaine County Idaho, which includes the communities of Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey, Bellevue, and Carey. Mountain Rides is the one-stop shop for ways to get around without driving solo. For more information, please visit

About POWER Engineers: POWER Engineers is a global consulting engineering firm specializing in the delivery of integrated solutions for energy, food and beverage facilities, environmental and federal markets. We offer complete multidiscipline engineering and program management services. Founded in 1976, we are an employee-owned company with more than 2,600 employees and 45 offices throughout the United States and abroad.