PSTA gets $18 million from the federal government for electric buses

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PSTA electric bus demo
Electric bus demonstration at PSTA. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (26 January 2016).

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is getting more than $18 million to buy new electric buses.

A press release Monday from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) said that President Joe Biden and the FTA have “awarded $409.3 million in grants to 70 projects in 39 states to modernize and electrify America’s buses, make bus systems and routes more reliable, and improve their safety.”

The PSTA grant is one of two in Florida. The other is in Gainesville.

Details about the PSTA grant for electric buses

According to the FTA website, the PSTA grant is $18,399,000, the second-largest awarded in this round. It’s “to buy electric buses to replace older buses that have exceeded their useful life and support charging infrastructure. The new vehicles will improve air quality as well as the safety and reliability of transit service for residents in Pinellas County,” according to the FTA press release.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “these grants will help people in communities large and small get to work, get to school, and access the services they need.”

Other electric bus grants from the FTA

In 2020, HART received a grant for electric buses. That grant was for $2.7 million.

The FTA press release says, “FTA received more than $2.5 billion in funding requests, more than five times the amount of funding available under the previous law.

“Under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, an additional $5.1 billion in formula and competitive grant funding is authorized under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program over the next five years – meaning more projects can be funded.”

Gainesville grant for electric buses

The other Florida grantee in this round is the City of Gainesville Department of Transportation & Mobility’s Regional Transit System.

According to the FTA website, it is getting $10,660,817 “to buy buses to replace older buses that have exceeded their useful life and build a new bus transfer station. This project will improve service reliability and efficiency for residents in Gainesville and Alachua County.”

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