PSTA awarded $1M to add electric bus, infrastructure

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

More electric buses have been secured for Pinellas County.

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle Program to add more zero-emission buses to its fleet.

“PSTA has earned this very competitive grant through its commitment to adding safer, cleaner technologies to its fleet,” said U.S Rep. Charlie Crist. “I am proud to support this initiative and be a witness to history as Pinellas County rolls out its first electric buses next year – moving people and innovation forward.”

The $1 million grant will be used to execute the second phase of the agency’s zero-emission vehicle program. The funds will pay for the expansion of the agency’s electric bus fleet and install on-route charging infrastructure.

“We’ve done our homework and we’ve shown our commitment to bringing healthier, cleaner technology to Pinellas County,” said Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long. “Now we’re eager to continue putting our words into actions.”

Earlier this year, the PSTA Board of Directors approved a contract with Los Angeles-based electric-bus manufacturer BYD for the purchase of up to 20 buses.

To date, the agency has purchased two electric buses through BYD as part of Phase I of its zero-emission vehicle program which will launch in 2018 when the region’s first electric buses will be deployed in the heart of Downtown St. Petersburg along the newly redesigned Circulator route.

“It’s always a proud moment to see PSTA’s commitment, hard work, and dedication pay off,” said St. Petersburg City Council Chair and PSTA Board Chair Darden Rice. “PSTA has set out to change the way people think about public transportation, and we are well on our way.”

PSTA was one of fifty-one projects in 39 states to receive a share of the $55 million awarded from the FTA this year.