IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Pittsburgh Port Authority to Buy Electric Buses with $5.7M Grant

The agency will use a $5.7 million grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to buy seven of the 15 electric buses it plans to use for the Bus Rapid Transit system between Oakland and Downtown Pittsburgh.

bus_shutterstock_561828169
Shutterstock/LeManna
(TNS) — Port Authority will use a $5.7 million grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to buy seven of the 15 electric buses it plans to use for the Bus Rapid Transit system between Oakland and Downtown Pittsburgh.

The grant announced Thursday technically will go to the Allegheny County Health Department under the EPA's Targeted Airshed Grant program. The Health Department applied for the grant based on the reduced pollution from electric buses compared with diesel. That will be particularly beneficial for the Uptown neighborhood above the Parkway East that regularly has some of the county's highest rates of airborne particulates.

Authority spokesman Adam Brandolph said the authority had accounted for the grant as part of the $230 million budget for the new system but was prepared to pay for the buses in some other manner if the grant hadn't been approved. The money also will be used for one of several expected charging stations for the 60-foot articulated buses.

"It was something we were hopeful would be approved, but we weren't counting on it," Mr. Brandolph said. "This is a bonus, a welcome bonus."

The authority won't order the buses right away but plans to have them available when the rapid transit system opens in 2023. Its design is 90% complete.

The grant for buses follows a $99.95 million Federal Transit Administration grant announced in May to support the project, which will put buses on exclusive lanes inbound on Fifth Avenue and outbound on Forbes Avenue. The system will have wings to Wilkinsburg via the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway as well as Highland Park and Greenfield using lanes to give buses priority at traffic lights.

The authority put its first two electric buses in service earlier this year through a program with Duquesne Light Co. and ordered six more over the summer. Electric buses generally cost almost twice as much as diesel vehicles, but they last longer, create less pollution and are less costly to maintain.

©2020 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Sponsored Articles
Featured Resources