SARTA secures grant to enhance transit with electric buses

Posted: 13 July 2023 | | No comments yet

SARTA takes a significant step towards greener transportation by utilising a federal grant to introduce electric buses to its fleet, enhancing the commuting experience for veterans and reducing emissions.

SARTA secures grant to enhance transit with electric buses

Credit: Stark Area Regional Transit Authority

The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) has announced its plan to utilise a $4.41 million federal grant to enhance its transportation services. The grant will be allocated towards the acquisition of two electric buses, two chargers and eight paratransit vehicles that will run on compressed natural gas.

SARTA’s CEO, Kirt Conrad, stated that the two electric buses will be the first of their kind in the SARTA fleet and will primarily serve veterans requiring transportation to appointments at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The objective is to provide a more comfortable experience for veterans, eliminating the need for them to endure long rides on hard plastic seats. The electric buses, along with the accompanying chargers, are expected to be delivered by Autumn 2024.

The funding for this project comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which allocated additional funds for infrastructure development. A portion of these funds, approximately $5.3 billion, has been designated for the purchase of low and no-emission buses for public transit agencies. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has estimated that this legislation increased the annual funding for such vehicles from $55 million to $1.1 billion. SARTA secured an allocation of $4.41 million, the second largest among 10 sub-recipients.

VIA Metropolitan Transit awarded $3 million for low-emission fleet

The new electric buses in SARTA’s fleet will resemble coach buses, featuring softer seats and a wheelchair ramp instead of a lift. To accommodate the battery, these buses will not include a bathroom. While SARTA currently operates hydrogen fuel cell buses, there are currently no hydrogen fuel cell coach buses available, leading SARTA to opt for electric buses instead. Each electric bus is estimated to cost around $1.1 million and will have a seating capacity of 52. 

In addition to the electric buses, SARTA will also replace its older diesel vehicles with eight low-emission compressed natural gas paratransit vehicles. This decision has been made due to some challenges faced with the fuel cell paratransit vehicles purchased in 2021, including issues with the fuel cells and battery performance. The new compressed natural gas vehicles, expected to cost approximately $170,000 each, will be delivered in approximately one year. 

Related modes

Related cities

Related countries

Related people