The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded $68 million in grants to purchase 227 electric transit buses in 13 counties. The funds come from Florida’s $166 million share of Volkswagen’s $15 billion federal settlement over the Dirty Diesel debacle.

The electric buses will replace existing diesel buses in Alachua, Broward, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Leon, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

The Pinellas County PSTA it serves LoadedThe hometown of St. Petersburg will receive $18 million in funding to purchase 60 buses — the second largest amount awarded to any transit agency through the state’s electric transit bus project. (Miami-Dade Transit Agency DTPW will receive $19.8 million to purchase 63 buses.) PSTA currently operates 6 electric buses and 88 hybrid buses.

“We are committed to clean energy and electric buses also cost less to run and are easier to maintain. Within the next decade, we hope to eliminate all diesel buses from our fleet,” said PSTA Executive Director Brad Miller.

Hillsborough County’s transit agency, HART, has not submitted a proposal for the grant program, but USF Parking & Transportation Services, which is located in Hillsborough, will receive $600,000 to purchase two buses.

Participating transit agencies must purchase two electric transit buses for each diesel bus replaced. A transit agency that does not meet this eligibility requirement may participate but will receive a prorated portion of the award.

The awards in this funding round:

  • The Broward County Department of Transportation will receive $7.8 million to provide 26 electric buses.
  • The Regional Transportation Authority of Central Florida (LYNX) will receive $9 million to provide 30 electric buses.
  • The Gainesville Regional Transit System will receive $300,000 to provide four buses.
  • Key West will receive $300,000 to provide one bus.
  • The City of Ocala will receive $300,000 to purchase one SunTran bus.
  • The City of Tallahassee will receive $5.1 million to purchase 17 buses for StarMetro.
  • Escambia County Council will receive $2.7 million to purchase nine buses.
  • The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will receive $1.8 million to purchase six buses.
  • Palm Beach County will receive $1.8 million to purchase six vehicles for PalmTran.
  • Pasco County Public Transportation will receive $600,000 to purchase two buses.
  • The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) will receive $18 million to purchase 60 buses.
  • USF Parking & Transportation Services will receive $600,000 to purchase two buses.

Separately, Florida announced a new $57 million investment in electric school buses in seven Florida counties through the Electric School Bus Project. This funding will be used to purchase 218 electric school buses to replace aging diesel buses in Broward, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.

Only school districts within an air quality priority area designated in the state’s mitigation plan were eligible for this project. School districts had to provide at least a 25% cost share, and school districts that provided the highest cost share were given priority.

sources: Florida DEP, Tampa Bay Times, St Pete Catalyst, Mass transport

Florida awards VW settlement funding: $68 million for electric transit buses, $57 million for school buses

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