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marthas-vineyard-transit-busMassDOT and the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) have been jointly awarded a $1.2 million grant for low or no-emission (“LoNo”) transit buses by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The grant award will be used to purchase two “LoNo” electric buses and an energy storage system; the MassDOT Regional Transit Authority Capital Asset Program provided a local match of $1.4 million.

“We would like to extend our thanks to the FTA for recognizing the worthiness of this project and are pleased that with the funding the VTA’s electric bus program will be able to proceed,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Where possible, electrification of transit buses presents a great opportunity for the Commonwealth to reduce emissions and transportation costs.”

The electric buses are more than four times as energy efficient as diesel buses, and will save an estimated 336,000 gallons of diesel fuel, translating into a 40,668-metric ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, over the 12-year service life of the buses. Furthermore, they will save the VTA an estimated $650,000 in fuel costs and $384,000 in maintenance costs over those 12 years.

“The VTA is grateful to FTA for this grant award and thankful for our continued partnership with MassDOT, not only with this grant but for the first four electric buses that we ordered in July 2017,” said VTA Administrator, Angie Grant. “Our hope is that the overall electric bus project we are pursuing with renewable energy and storage will be successful and replicable in other areas, and that we can help advance and deploy green technologies faster, by sharing our experiences.”

The Low or No Emission Competitive Program provides funding to state and local government 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. Under the FAST Act, $55 million per year is available until fiscal year 2020.

Since 2014, over $100 million has been disbursed nationwide to support the introduction of low and no-emission buses into transit systems under the FTA Section 5312(h): LoNo-Component Assessment Program (LoNo-CAP).   LoNo-CAP provides unbiased assessments of LoNo components used in transit buses, publishes the assessments online, and summarizes them in an annual report to Congress. These assessments document the maintainability, reliability, performance, structural integrity, efficiency, and noise of the tested components; they are used to find ways to increase the quality and lower the overall costs of LoNo vehicles, expanding the supply chain for these vehicles and increasing their deployment to transit systems around the United States.

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