The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will receive an $18.4 million grant to purchase new electric buses, adding to its existing fleet.
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,” according to a Monday press release.
PSTA plans on buying 12 electric buses, 12 depot chargers and two inductive wireless chargers with the new funds, according to a spokeswoman. The news follows the organization recently entering into a new contract agreement to bring an additional 60 all-electric buses over the next five years. PSTA officials previously said they were depending on the infrastructure bill to acquire the new buses.
“As PSTA continues toward its goal of a zero-emissions fleet by 2050, we are extremely grateful for Congressman Crist and the Biden Administration for recognizing and investing in clean infrastructure and alternative modes of transportation,” Pat Gerard, Chair of the PSTA Board of Directors, said in a statement. “Each step we take toward a sustainable future is helping fight climate change.”
FTA received 303 project proposals totaling over $2.50 billion, according to a news release. The only other Florida agency to win the grant in this round is the City of Gainesville Department of Transportation and Mobility’s Regional Transit System, which won $10.66 million.
“This is truly a transformative investment in our clean infrastructure,” said Brad Miller, Chief Executive Officer of PSTA. “Through this electric vehicle investment, we are ensuring that Pinellas County residents and visitors benefit from cleaner air as we move toward a more sustainable, carbon-free energy system. PSTA is proud of our reputation as an innovative agency, and this investment will symbolically and literally move us forward.”