Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Department of Transportation is being awarded a $7.4 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration for the purchase of ten battery electric buses and ten DC fast chargers. The upgrades are targeted for the CTtransit Waterbury division and will make that city’s bus depot the first bus facility in the state capable of running a 100% battery electric bus transit fleet.
The federal grant will be matched with $5.7 million in state funding and other sources, for a total project cost of $13.1 million, fully preparing the CTtransit Waterbury bus depot for the eventual electrification of the nearly 100 transit buses and paratransit vans used in its fleet.
“Here in Connecticut we are doing everything we can to increase our use of green technology so that we can do our part to reduce emissions and build a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future,” Governor Lamont said. “Not only does the purchase of these ten new electric buses mean that we can make the Waterbury fleet fully electric, but it brings us one step closer to our state’s goal of a fully electric bus fleet statewide by 2035. Having incredible partners in the Biden administration, including in the Federal Transit Administration, as well as the support of our entire Congressional delegation, is only helping to increase our efforts.”
“This funding will help reduce the impacts of pollution and climate change while making critically needed upgrades to our transportation network,” Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Chris Murphy said in a joint statement. “This is yet another example of how Connecticut is leading the way to modernize our national transportation grid. We are committed to fighting for every dollar possible as we work to upgrade Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure.”
“The approval of the $7.4 million Low-No Emission Vehicle Grant to support the Connecticut Department of Transportation, specifically the Waterbury division of Connecticut transit services, will improve the infrastructure and phase out the use of ten diesel buses with full battery electric buses,” Congresswoman Jahana Hayes said. “I introduced legislation, the Clean School Bus Act and the Clean Commute for Kids Act, that supports initiatives like this in Connecticut, and I am grateful for the steps taken to make a healthier environment for our children and community as a whole.”
“We are thankful for the strong partnership with the Federal Transit Administration and the support of our Congressional delegation,” Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “We are moving forward to a new normal where we help improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fight climate change, and advance environmental justice through the transportation sector. This project is the first of its kind in Connecticut to prepare an entire transit and paratransit depot fully for electrification, and a major step forward in our push to become the first state with a fully electric bus transit fleet.”
“Replacing diesel transit buses with electric brings so many benefits to communities that are overburdened by the health effects air pollution, and face the greatest risks from climate change” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “This investment in clean transit for Waterbury demonstrates what will be possible when we adopt policies, like the Transportation and Climate Initiative, that will enable us invest in a clean, affordable transportation system across the state.”
“Air pollution has been a significant issue of concern in all urban cities in Connecticut for some time,” Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary said. “The commitment from the Lamont administration will have a great impact moving our buses to electricity operated. This is a major opportunity for all of our residents, especially for all of those who suffer from COPD and asthma.”
“Increasing the amount of no-emission battery electric buses in our state is wonderful news. This is a significant investment to fight air pollution and advance racial justice in Waterbury,” Robert Goodrich, co-founder of R.A.C.C.E., said. “Communities of color and families with low income as well as children walking to school will be less burdened by commercial vehicle emissions than they were before.”
“Expanding the deployment of electrified medium and heavy-duty vehicles in densely populated areas, like Waterbury, will greatly cut down the harmful particulate matter that contributes to poor air quality and health problems,” Alex Rodriguez, a climate advocate with Save the Sound, said. “Additionally, the state’s transportation sector generates nearly 40% of its greenhouse gas emissions. The wide-spread adoption of this technology will be key to Connecticut meeting its climate change mandates. Thanks to this investment, we are one step closer to a climate resilient, clean transportation future.”