Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) administrator Angela Grant updated Edgartown selectmen on the VTA’s electric fleet and plans for charging stations on Church Street.
“The next big part of the project, in order to continue to electrify the fleet, you need to do interim charging,” Grant said.
Grant said there were some constraints to the project. Chiefly, the electrical infrastructure required has to be located within 50 to 75 feet of the path. Grant said the VTA would come up with “creative shielding” such as painting to make the charging stations look better than giant electrical boxes. The VTA will own the charging stations, allowing for them to alter their appearance to better fit into the landscape of the town. “We’ll make them as pretty as possible,” Grant said.
Selectman Arthur Smadbeck asked if there was a location other than Church Street where the charging stations could go. Grant said there was not. The buses are stopped at Church Street the longest, giving them the most time to charge. If the VTA does not charge buses on Church Street, they get hit with demand charges from Eversource. “It just makes electrification of your fleet significantly more expensive,” she said.
The VTA is now looking at vendor options for the electrical infrastructure. Grant first brought the idea to the board’s attention in February.
In other business, town selectmen approved the 2019 Martha’s Vineyard marathon. Race director Lee Ann Yarbor told selectmen the marathon would be held on Saturday, May 18. She referred to the race as a “run-cation,” saying it brought people to the Island for the weekend. This year, approximately 1,500 people finished the race. Yarbor said 15 percent of those runners qualified for the Boston Marathon, and people from across the country and around the world participate in the race. The race will begin at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, border the State Forest, weave through downtown Edgartown, and finish in Waban Park in Oak Bluffs.