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$7.2M Grant Will Bring More Electric Buses to Western Mass.

The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority plans to purchase eight electric buses using federal funds. The money, from the Federal Transit Administration, is the largest grant for a regional transit authority this year.

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(TNS) — A $7.2 million federal grant announced Monday will allow the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority to buy eight new electric buses and continue its efforts to promote clean emissions.

The grant from the Federal Transit Administration is the largest grant in the nation for a regional transit authority this year under the Low and No-Emission grant program.

U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D- Springfield, said at the announcement at Union Station that the grant is part of a “growing investment” nationwide in decarbonization and electric-powered buses.

“This grant will prove to be hugely beneficial to the PVTA in their efforts to reach their clean energy goals,” Neal said.

It also acknowledges that regional public transportation is a priority in Western Massachusetts, and aids the effort to address climate change, Neal said. The grant includes the buses along with planning and training costs, officials said.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Sandra Sheehan, administrator for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, praised the grant.

Once the eight buses arrive in 2022, the PVTA will have a total of 23 electric buses, out of a fleet of about 180 buses, Sheehan said.

Sarno said that “going green” with state-of-art vehicles is good for the environment and for the budget.

Sheehan praised Neal for his assistance, and said the eight new electric buses will replace eight diesel buses that have surpassed their expected useful lifespan.

“As part of our vision at PVTA, we are committed to expand upon projects that reduce energy consumption and increase access to clean, efficient mass transit,” Sheehan said. “This Low and No Emission Vehicle Grant Program will help PVTA transition our fleet to cleaner, more energy efficient vehicles.”

The PVTA is hoping to reduce its emissions by 50% by 2050, similar to state and federal goals, Sheehan said.

The authority will continue to apply for grants to convert more of its buses to electric-powered vehicles, she said.

The announcement of the grant occurred at the PVTA headquarters at Union Station on Frank B. Murray Street in the downtown.

The Federal Transit Administration gave $182 million to 49 projects nationwide.

©2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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