DART electric bus

DART's electric bus fleet will continue to expand, thanks to FTA grants now totaling more than $9.1 million.

As part of a continuing effort to reduce emissions and be more environmentally friendly, the Delaware Transit Corp (DTC) announced this week, DTC has received a fourth Federal Transportation Authority (FTA) grant of $3,539,640 to purchase additional electric buses that will grow DART First State’s alternative-fuel fleet. The agency has now received more than $9.1 million through the grants to support the purchase of electric buses.

DART is currently running 16 electric buses statewide, with four additional buses going into service this fall. The six additional buses to be purchased with the latest grant will bring the fleet total to 26 electric buses, or about 10 percent of the current fixed-route diesel buses.

Electric buses last longer, are cleaner, easier to maintain, produce zero emissions and offer the same capacity for riders compared to their diesel relatives, officials noted. They produce 90 percent fewer particulates (hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions and 60 percenter fewer percent few oxides of nitrogen).

One bus can travel up to 250 miles on a single charge. With fast-charging stations throughout the state, drivers can quickly recharge so buses can continue to run all day.

Delaware’s Congressional Delegation of U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, (all D-Del.) have fought for funding to decrease carbon emissions and support electric vehicles and buses, and the infrastructure to support it.

“Through this grant from Federal Transportation Authority, the Delaware Transit Corp. will be able to purchase several additional electric buses for use throughout the state,” said the three legislators. “Continued investments in electric vehicles, like the DART First State Electric Buses, will help move Delaware forward toward a more environmentally and energy-efficient state. We’re proud of DART for committing to a greener and cleaner future for Delaware and look forward to securing additional funding at the federal level to increase Delaware’s fleet of electric buses.”

Gov. John Carney added, “Just last week, I signed Senate Bill 21, amending the Delaware Energy Act to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles by creating a more accessible charging-station infrastructure in the First State. I am proud that our state agencies are also adopting the use of electric vehicles, especially for public transportation that results in less air pollution from buses that operate continuously throughout the day.”

“The need for alternative modes of transportation grows daily as does the need for cleaner transportation. We are grateful for this grant and the opportunity continue to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to provide the highest quality transportation services to the community,” said Delaware Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski.

The first FTA grant of $2,029,300 is for the purchase of six electric buses that will operate in and around Dover. The second grant of $1,000,000 is for the purchase of an additional 10 electric buses that will operate in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach. DTC received a third grant of $2,600,000 for four electric buses to supplement the busy resort season in the late summer of 2021.

The Delaware Transit Corporation, a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), operates DART First State. For more information, visit DartFirstState.com or call 1-800-652-DART.