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VIDEO: EcoTrans Toyota Prius Reaches 300,000 Miles

Bill Steele, owner of EcoTrans, an environmentally friendly shuttle service based in Northfield, celebrated reaching 300,000 miles on his Toyota Prius on Thursday.

Do you think you put a lot of miles on your vehicle in the past few years?

Think again.

Bill Steele, owner of EcoTrans, an environmentally friendly shuttle service based in Northfield, celebrated reaching 300,000 miles on his Toyota Prius on Thursday.

The car is four years old.

"I'm proud," Steele said seconds after hitting the milestone. "I'm just really proud of being part of this."

Steele started EcoTrans four years ago and purchased a similar shuttle business in the process, but wanted to make the transition to more eco-friendly vehicles. The Prius, which gets more than 50 mpg under the right circumstances, was his first purchase.

The fleet has expanded to three sedans, a mini-van and two shuttle buses. The business is used by both St. Olaf and Carleton College students, faculty and guests to the schools. EcoTrans is also used by Northfield residents to get to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and health care facilities like the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, among other places.

"It warms my heart because we've been very privileged," Steele said of his clients over the years who have supported his drive to go green.

Steele said the Prius hasn't needed much maintenance in its four years. So how much life does it have left?

"450,000 (miles) with no trouble," responded EcoTrans driver Chip DeMann, who rode along Thursday for the occasion.

"I would tend to agree," Steele responded. "I don't see any reason why not."

Following the milestone, Steele headed to Graphic Mailbox to pick up a decal for the back of the car that summed up the day best. 

"300,000 miles & running strong"

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R. Haider February 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM
So Fabulous! Thank you to Bill and Dan for your service to my family, our community, and our world!
steve carlsen February 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Since I own the exact same car, I'm hoping that I too, will be able to emulate your achievement of 300,000 miles in a more eco friendly mode. Congratulations!
Jessica Hendrickson February 17, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Thank you again...I am forwarding this on to my mom in Canada. Sincerely Jessica
Daniel Bennett Freeman February 17, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Hey Everybody -- This company is a treat to work for and I'm proud to have been there from the beginning with Bill and all the other great drivers and customers. By the way we have another Prius that will soon turn it's 300,000 mile so we'll be 600,000 miles and counting in the coming weeks.

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