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Delaware gets new federal grant funding for electric buses

Sarah Mueller
Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester points to "it's electric" bus sign.

Members of Delaware’s Congressional delegation joined Gov. John Carney Tuesday to announce additional federal funding to make public transportation cleaner.

The Delaware Department of Transportation plans to have 20 zero-or-low emission electric buses operating statewide starting in 2021.

The new $2.6 million federal grant will be used to purchase four buses. There’s six DART electric buses currently in use just in Kent County. And they’ve already ordered 10 more for the other counties.

Carney said this is one step to reduce vehicle emissions throughout the state.

“We’ve talked about things that we can do at DelDOT and at DART to have a transportation system that reduces the carbon dioxide into the emissions into the atmosphere, that’s cleaner and healthier for the people of our state,” he said.

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester said the buses are healthier for the environment. She points to the sign on the bus saying "it’s electric" to show the buses will also improve commuters’ quality of life.

“It’s a feeling, this is a feeling," she said. "A partnership of doing something in an environment where sometimes we feel like we’re helpless and hopeless. This is proof that together sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.”

Delaware has received a total of $5.6 million in federal funding to reduce harmful bus emissions. It’s the third time the state’s received this kind of grant.

The electric buses are 4-to-5 times more efficient than diesel buses and cost less to maintain. The buses can travel up to 200 miles on one charge.

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