Delaware Transit Corp. (DTC) has been awarded $2,029,300 from the FTA to purchase up to six zero-emission battery-electric buses. With the help of Delaware’s Congressional delegation, the project grant was selected on a competitive basis through the FY 2016 Low or No Emission Bus and Bus Facilities grant program.
These zero-emission buses, to be manufactured by Proterra, will be placed into DART’s public transit service in the state’s capital, Dover, and surrounding Kent County in early 2018, replacing diesel buses and significantly reducing emissions, according to the agency. DTC’s long-term plan includes expanding the operation of electric buses to the Rehoboth area, following the completion of the Lewes Transit Center and to Wilmington.
Battery-electric buses are much quieter than diesel buses. They average 17.5 MPG equivalent vs. diesel at 4.0 MPG and the lifetime (12-year) fuel costs are $81,000 compared to $378,000 for diesel. Cost savings will also be realized with the elimination of engine and exhaust-related maintenance, according to agency officials.
In addition to the bus purchase, the grant will also be used for the infrastructure required to operate the buses and the associated maintenance training needs.