The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and the University of Utah say they received a $5.4 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase new buses for their fleet – and that they plan to use the funds to purchase five New Flyer battery-electric buses.
According to UTA, three of those buses will travel Route 2 and two will serve the University of Utah campus.
“Providing environmentally friendly public transportation is one of UTA’s long-term goals,” says Matt Sibul, UTA’s chief planning officer. “We are happy to be able to put these electric buses into service right through the center of Salt Lake City, where the air pollution sometimes gets trapped and where so many people work, live and play.”
UTA says it already operates 32 hybrid-electric buses and 47 compressed natural gas buses, with plans to add more this year.
According to UTA, each all-electric bus is expected to save the equivalent of 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year. Specifically, operating the three electric buses on Route 2 is expected to save approximately 175 metric tons of gas emissions per year.
In addition to the purchase of the buses, the FTA grant will also be used for project implementation and monitoring.
UTA says the buses could arrive as early as 2018, and a testing period will be conducted before the New Flyer buses are put into service.