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Electric transportation: Suffolk Transit awarded $565,000 to buy e-buses

The DOT grant will be used to purchase two electric busses and two charging stations.
Credit: 13News Now

SUFFOLK, Va. — The City of Suffolk announced Monday that it will buy two electric buses with a grant from the Department of Transportation. 

In a statement from a spokesperson, the city announced that Suffolk Transit received $565,000 from the DOT's 2022 Low or No Emission Vehicle Program to buy the buses and their charging stations. 

According to the DOT, "The Low or No Emission competitive program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities."

“We are thrilled to get this competitive grant and to start introducing electric buses into the fleet," Transit Manager Maria Ptakowski said. "This is a great opportunity for us to learn the capabilities of these greener vehicles and significantly reduce our fuel and maintenance costs.”

The city said each bus will seat 19 passengers and two wheelchair passengers. 

The buses are 125 miles on a charge, and the city said it takes about two hours to charge a bus. The buses will also have bike racks. 

The city said Suffolk Transit will alternate the buses so that as one charges, the other is out operating and there is no interruption in service. 

The fuel and maintenance cost reductions are expected to save the city 83% of the money they were spending to operate buses before. 

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