On Friday, the Federal Transit Administration announced $55 million in grant awards through its Low or No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle Program, which funds the development of transit buses and infrastructure that use advanced fuel technologies. A total of 51 projects in 39 states will receive a share of the funding, with project awards ranging from $408,000 to $1.75 million. Greenville Transit Authority (GTA) will receive $1.45 million to purchase two zero-emission, battery-electric buses and charging equipment from local bus manufacturer Proterra.
The Low-No program provides funding, on a competitive basis, to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as acquisition, construction and leasing of required supporting facilities. In June, Greenlink staff conducted test runs with the new Proterra Catalyst E2 series model electric bus. The 40-foot bus can accommodate 40 passengers seated and 37 standing. The test runs were designed to help Greenlink staff decide which routes the bus can operate an entire 14-hour service day on at a range of 251 miles per charge.
According to Gary Shepard, Greenlink’s public transportation director, the grant award and the opportunity to upgrade Greenlink’s fleet is a “win-win-win” for the Greenville community. “First, many of our buses on the road today have exceeded their useful life and should have been replaced three years ago, so this will allow us to replace two of those,” said Shepard. “Second, we are able to partner with Proterra, a pioneer in the electric bus manufacturing industry and local employer in Greenville, and third, this will benefit the environment by getting old diesel buses off our roads and provide a better experience for our customers.”