SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Four diesel-fueled buses will soon be off the road and replaced by new electric ones.
It’s a piece of a $54 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration that will also go towards getting the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority ready for more electric buses down the road.
Luis Nieves from Springfield was excited to hear the news, “Pretty much I’m doing everything by the bus right now. Going shopping, going to the mall. Wherever I’ve got to go.”
Currently there are 12 electric buses, this will add four more as well as 20 electric charging stations.
“This will allow us to convert or accommodate the conversion of the fleet to a fully electric battery buses,” Sandra Sheehan, the PVTA Administrator.
Sheehan said they’re hoping to order the buses in the Spring. They are also receiving a 20 percent match from the state’s Department of Transportation, putting them on the path to improve air quality and reduce emissions by 2050.
“A balanced approach as we try to continue to move and it fits right into the plan that Pat Sullivan and I have done for the City of Springfield, a 25 percent reduction,” said Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Funds will also go towards training employees how to use electric vehicles, which don’t require the typical maintenance diesel fueled buses need like oil changes.
“Electrifying these buses is a big, big achievement and it came about because of President Biden’s infrastructure bill,” said Congressman Richard Neal.
The PVTA also plans to upgrade the bus bays and maintenance facilities as UMass Amherst, using the funding.
Mayor Sarno says, “with the PVTA servicing our Springfield community, I am pleased that this PVTA green initiative supports my administration’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan by utilizing green energy initiatives and programs to reduce our carbon footprint and enhance the infrastructure needed to maintain these new vehicles.” This initiative to go green will help reduce emissions by eliminating gasoline-powered buses and replacing them with electric buses.
“Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the PVTA will be able to continue their mission of providing high quality transportation services while ensuring it is done in an environmentally conscious manner,” said Congressman Neal.