Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority gets grant for greener buses

Stacey Rupolo

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) 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 for the VTA. The MassDOT Regional Transit Authority Capital Asset Program provided a local match of $1.4 million.

“The state gave us funding for four electric buses for FY18 and this will allow us to buy two more electric buses and half of the battery storage unit, which will boost our resiliency and redundancy,” VTA Administrator Angie Grant told The Times. Ms. Grant expects the two new buses and a battery energy storage unit to be on the Island by end of calendar year 2018.

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.