By Brent Addleman | The Center Square
Two electric buses are now serving Vermonters in one county, Gov. Phil Scott said.
The governor, along with Green Mountain Power, announced two electric buses have replaced two diesel-fueled buses in Rutland County through the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund. The Marble Valley Regional Transit District is the beneficiary of the new buses.
“The transportation sector is Vermont’s largest contributor of carbon emissions, which is why my team and I have prioritized vehicle electrification to combat climate change,” Scott said in the release. “Whether it’s for public transportation or private use, the more accessible we can make electric vehicles the better, and we will continue to work to give Vermonters these options.”
By removing the two diesel fuel busses, an offset of 15,660 gallons of diesel fuel will be created each year and equates to removing 46 cars from roadways when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, according to the release.
The Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust fund footed the bill for the buses, infrastructure upgrades, and equipment, according to the release, through a $1.5 million grant. The funding was incorporated with support from Green Mountain Power via clean electrification incentives that are designed to remove carbon and costs for customers. The Vermont Agency of Transportation and the regional transit district supported the endeavor with funding.
“This is the future, and we are so excited to be part of this pilot program,” Ken Putnam, the executive director of MVRTD, said in the release. “Electric transportation is more efficient, more cost-effective, and cleaner. Being able to access funding through the state helped us go electric years sooner than we would have been able to. It is so great to hear from riders how thrilled they are with the buses and how much they love how quiet they are. And the drivers say the buses are great to drive, with a lot of power.”
Buses, according to the release, are operating between Rutland and Middlebury, and a route to Killington will be added before summer.
The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation is operating the pilot program for the Agency of Natural Resources. The organization will track performance and help widen the use of clean public transportation in the state.
Green Mountain Power, according to the release, has added an incentive for DC fast chargers for the buses.