DART gets $1 million grant for 10 battery-electric buses

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Delaware Transit Corporation (DART First State) has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) toward the purchase of 10 zero-emission battery-electric buses, and associated charging systems.

With the help of Delaware’s Congressional delegation, state and local officials, and other partners, the project was selected on a competitive basis through the fiscal 2017 Low or No Emission Bus and Bus Facilities grant program.

“A 21st century economy needs 21st century transportation, and cutting-edge technology like the zero-emission battery-electric bus is crucial to making Delaware’s transportation system cleaner and more efficient,” said Gov. John Carney. “The ten additional zero-emission electric buses will cut harmful emissions and save Delaware taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in fuel costs. I’m grateful the federal delegation, DelDOT, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other partners were able to work together to bring these buses to Delaware.”

The funding will allow DTC to move forward with the planned project of adding eight electric buses in New Castle County and two in Sussex County, expanding the emission-free fleet statewide.

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Last summer, DTC received a $2 million FTA grant for six electric buses for Dover, and related infrastructure costs, which will be operational next summer. By summer of 2019, there will be sixteen electric buses operating throughout the state with charging stations at DTC facilities in each of the three counties.

By summer of 2019, there will be sixteen electric buses operating throughout the state with charging stations at DTC facilities in each of the three counties.

The buses, which are manufactured by Proterra, have a range of up to 250 miles on a single charge. Along with fast charging stations that are strategically placed throughout the state, buses can be recharged allowing them to run virtually all day.

Battery-electric buses are much quieter than diesel buses. They average 17.5 MPG equivalent vs. diesel at 4 MPG and the lifetime (12-year) energy costs are $81,000 compared to $378,000 for diesel.

Cost savings will also be realized with the elimination of engine and exhaust-related maintenance.

For information on fixed route bus services statewide, please call 1-800-652-DART or visit www.DartFirstState.com.

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