SSA receives electric bus grants


The Steamship Authority (SSA) recently received $875,000 in total grant funds to purchase electric buses and related infrastructure for its parking service in Falmouth and Hyannis, according to a press release.

The SSA has been awarded $500,000 from the Volkswagen Settlement Grants program, as part of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. It also received $375,000 from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No-Emission Program as part of a joint application with the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, and the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority.

Both awards will be used to offset the price differential between a diesel and an electric bus, which is approximately $350,000 depending on the size of the bus, as well as charging equipment for the vehicles.

SSA spokesperson Sean Driscoll said the authority is “very pleased” with the additional funding, and looks forward to expanding its bus fleet. “As a self-funding agency that doesn’t get state aid, every bit of money we get from separate funds is less money we have to ask for from our customers,” Driscoll said. “People have been asking us to look at electric buses for a long time.”

The authority is currently undergoing its capital budget planning process, so Driscoll said the number of electric buses to be added is uncertain. He said he expects at least two new electric buses to be added to or replace old diesel buses. To accommodate the new electric buses, charging stations will also be installed after the grant awards have been allocated.

“We are always looking for ways to reduce the cost to our traveling public,” Driscoll said. “It happens that this grant money is also going to reduce our carbon footprint, which we are also very interested in.”

SSA general manager Robert Davis said in the release that the awards come as a “welcome Christmas present for the authority and its customers.”

“With this funding, we can start in earnest our transition to a fleet of electric buses for our parking operations,” Davis said.


  1. It will reduce the carbon footprint says Driscoll. Really? Electricity mostly comes from coal, oil, nuclear, or natural gas. So in order to charge your buses, it will increase the carbon footprint in someone else’s backyard.

    • not new– do just a little research on why electricity reduces the carbon footprint– just a little will suffice– I have written numerous times about it, but it does not seem to penetrate into the brains of the willfully ignorant.
      “The average new U.S. car that gets 29 miles per gallon has total emissions of about 400 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.”

      “Today an electric vehicle using an average mix of U.S. power generation sources — coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewables — emits roughly 300 grams per mile, or 25 percent less. With more nuclear or renewable carbon free electricity, net emissions can fall to 100 grams per mile or less — and that’s including upstream emissions used in the manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines and the vehicles themselves. This would mean cutting emissions from ground transportation by 75 percent.”
      By the way, there are no coal burning plants in Mass. Only 2 or possibly 3 coal burners in new England–
      coal is currently the dirtiest way to fuel power plants.

      • Dondondon12-Only the willfully ignorant turn a blind eye towards the fact that the production and disposal of electric batteries is ‘clean’. And only the willfully ignorant fall for the nonsense that electricity will be made in sufficient reliable supplies by solar or wind. And its the same willfully ignorant who try to shut down every nuclear power plant without a clean reliable replacement . And its the same willfully ignorant who protest the necessary natural gas pipeline upgrades to provide that reliable supply of clean cheap fuel to make electricity for their electric dreams. Its making more of a carbon footprint in someone else’s backyard where the powerplants are located.

        • Not new– I am on record here as stating that there are problems with the mining of materials, production, and disposal of batteries. The lithium in lithium ion batteries is 100 % recyclable, and rather easy to do. But the willfully ignorant don’t want to be inconvenienced by getting spent batteries to places such as Home Depot. We even have an idiot president that thinks energy efficient light bulbs make him look orange.
          I am for nuclear generation of electricity with pebble bed technology.

          I am not naive — read my comments on “vineyard 100 % renewable energy. It’s not gonna happen anytime soon. As andrew suggests, use a clothes line or drying rack and eat less meat.
          The best way to deal with the energy problem is to use less energy. It’s not that hard. But I know taking cold showers won’t do it– some people deliberately waste energy. We sapiens will take the easiest route. We need to be given better choices.

  2. dondondon. Unplug your devices; hang your clothes on a line to dry; plant more trees in your yard and stop eating meat; and join Planned Parenthood. That will reduce your footprint.

    • Andrew— I have not used a dryer in at least 5 years. I have a car that gets 40 mpg, I have an electric assist bicycle that I rode into town this morning, I eat very little meat, (usually if someone outs it on a table for me) I have a garden, heat with wood that is cut for clearing a house site, dead trees, road trimmings etc.
      Could you tell me how joining planned parenthood will reduce my footprint ?
      I do make a tax free donation to them every year, along with NRDC.
      But I can see why you think I am the problem. while you eat whole cows, leave your car running and fly wherever you want whenever you want because you have managed to slither your way into the American dream by making lots of money in the chemical companies that are literally killing people, abd destroying gods creation.
      Yes, Andrew, it’s me , the Chinese, and the Indians that are the problem– Anyone but you.

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