DE Transit Corp. Gets Funding for Electric Buses

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October 10, 2017
Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) Chief Executive Officer, John Sisson announced today that DTC 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 FY 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 Governor 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.  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. 
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. 
"This grant award will go a long way toward reducing toxic emissions in our air from old dirty engines," said U.S. Senator Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "A cleaner public transportation system not only helps our environment, but it also helps our citizens breathe cleaner air."
“Delaware, and I as a member of the congressional delegation, remain committed to improving air quality and public transportation options in cities," said U.S. Senator Coons. "This grant will especially help residents of Wilmington and Dover by allowing DTC to purchase buses with some of the most advanced technology commercially available.”
Battery-electric buses are much quieter than diesel buses. They average 17.5 MPG equivalent vs. diesel at 4.0 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. 

“Making smart investments in a modernized transportation system, as well as upgrading old infrastructure systems is critical to the future of our economy,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “This investment not only cuts down on harmful emissions, but it also helps save Delaware tax-payer dollars. I want to thank the Federal Transit Administration, DelDOT and DTC for their work to see this project through, and look forward to seeing the electric buses soon.”

 “The positive effects that electric buses will have on our air quality, public health and transit costs are very real and absolutely worth celebrating,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “It’s important to know that these new Proterra electric buses will noticeably improve the experience of riding transit in Wilmington.  Electric buses provide a more pleasant experience for transit riders, and many of the same benefits will extend into the public realm for people who aren’t riding. On routes where these buses will operate, city streets will be cleaner, quieter, and more inviting. Electric buses are the future of urban transit, and this will be a tangible improvement in city living that many people will experience every day. We thank Governor Carney and John Sisson and his team at DART for their tremendous vision of Delaware’s future transit needs.”
Proterra will serve as the electric bus manufacturer for DTC. Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission battery-electric buses whose vision is to deliver clean, quiet transportation.

The Delaware Transit Corporation, a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), operates DART First State. For information on fixed route bus services statewide, please call 1-800-652-DART or visit www.DartFirstState.com.
 
Copyright 2016 New Castle County Chamber of Commerce