Delaware Public Media

First State gets more money for electric busses

Sep 18, 2017

The Delaware Transit Corporation, or DART, is adding more electric busses to its fleet—thanks to some federal funds.

The Federal Transit Administration is sending Delaware one million dollars to help the state purchase ten emission-free, battery powered busses. It previously gave the First State two million dollars last summer for six buses. Those six busses are expected to be operational in Kent County next year. The new money will put eight buses in New Castle and two in Sussex by the summer of 2019.

“We’ll spend some time doing some contractual things—setting up some things with Protera, who is the supplier of the busses—that will take several months. We’ll set up the funding, and then we’ll get in the cycle of production. Once we do all that it will probably be a year out,” said DART CEO Jon Sisson.

The state will also add charging stations in each of the three counties to keep the busses running all day.

“We in Delaware run the transit agency throughout the state,” said Sisson. “(We) control what’s going on with infrastructure, park-and-rides, and other things, so we can put charging stations out there.”

The electric busses are quieter than diesel busses. They range up to 250 miles on one charge, and are each expected to save taxpayers almost 200 thousand dollars in fuel over the 12 year life of the bus.