07.24.19

Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce $3 Million Federal Grant For Electric Buses And Charging Stations In Vermont’s Upper Valley

(WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will receive a $3 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to purchase electric buses and charging stations to be used in Vermont’s Upper Valley.  They had written last year to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the grant.

The new federally funded electric bus project will help Vermont reduce local air pollution, improve public transit infrastructure and support the state’s goals to eliminate carbon emissions and combat climate change.  The project will also help VTrans expand the benefits of its electric bus fleet into rural communities.  The transportation sector is the source of 29 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions nationally, and of roughly 45 percent of carbon emissions in Vermont.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:  “Investments like these create a cascade of benefits for our community.  Updating our state’s public transit options to reflect the changing climate will mean more Vermonters trading car rides for bus rides and fewer carbon emissions in our atmosphere, and will make our rural communities more resilient.  At a time when global climate change is already causing devastation here at home and around the world, from more frequent and stronger hurricanes, to wildfires, drought, and flooding, this is exactly the kind of investment we should be making.  It’s also crucial to make sure that investments in clean energy are not limited to urban areas.  This project’s focus brings those benefits directly to Vermont’s rural communities.”

VTrans, the Vermont Public Transit Association and local energy utilities have proposed transitioning Vermont’s public transportation sector away from using high-emissions petroleum-powered buses and toward no-emissions electric vehicles.

The federal funds were awarded from the Transportation Department’s Low or No-Emission Vehicle Competitive Program.  The VTrans project will be implemented in partnership with Green Mountain Power and the Upper Valley’s Advance Transit, Inc.

 

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