(The Center Square) – Vermont has received $12.5 million in taxpayer money to purchase new buses for its public transportation system.
The state’s Agency of Transportation announced it plans to purchase nine electric buses through two grant programs through the Federal Transportation Agency.
“These latest FTA awards reflect Vermont’s dedication to public transit and the electrification of our transit fleet,” Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn said in a release. “We thank the FTA, our public transit providers, and the regional utility companies for taking on these challenges to address our shared goals of decreasing carbon emissions, improving the ridership experience, and reducing our dependence on ever-fluctuating fuel costs.”
In addition to the new buses, according to the release, funding will permit for the construction of a new building, along with facility improvements, to the Marble Valley Transit District.
Of the two grants, $9.2 million, according to the release, is being culled from the transit administration’s Low and No Emissions Bus and Bus Facility grant program. The funding will be used to secure nine new e-buses to the Green Mountain Transit and Marble Valley Regional Transit District territories.
The five medium-sized buses, according to the release, will be purchased from Letenda, a new manufacturer located in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada. Vermont is the first in the United States to purchase the buses from Letenda.
The grant, according to the release, will also cover costs for charging infrastructure, a mobile charging unit, driver and maintenance training, and various facility upgrades.
“We are now applying for and obtaining increased funding for more vehicles than ever as we scale-up these electrification efforts,” Public Transit Manager Ross MacDonald said in a release. “Vermont already has 22 electric buses on the road or in the procurement process, with vehicles deployed throughout the state.”
A second grant, totaling $3.3 million, was secured through the transit administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities competitive grant program. Funding will be utilized for the construction of a new office building for Marble Valley in Rutland.
Among the aspects of the new facility in Marble Valley, according to the release, is upgrading the facility that was first built in the 1970s, and the new building will have improved ADA access and will feature a pole barn that will protect the buses and charging infrastructure from the elements.