The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is receiving a $1 million grant through the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program. to purchase two new electric buses. Fifty-two projects from 41 states are being awarded $84.45 million to deploy transit buses and install infrastructure that uses advanced propulsion technologies.
The new electric buses will service north-south routes that end near the PSTA headquarters in the Gateway area in mid-Pinellas County.
The agency hopes to have the new buses in late 2019 or early 2020.
The grant means PSTA can update its fleet to provide more effective and efficient transit service in the county, as local officials seek to solve public transportation issues in order to create robust economic development opportunities in the Tampa Bay area.
Two other areas in Florida are also receiving funding. The Broward County Transit Authority is receiving $2.25 million to replace aging buses with new electric buses and install solar infrastructure to use green energy for power. The city of Gainesville is receiving $1 million for electric buses and charging stations.
The largest grants are for $2.29 million and were awarded to large or struggling transit agencies throughout the country including those in California, Illinois, Michigan and Wyoming.
PSTA previously received a Low-No grant to purchase new electric buses. The latest award will bring PSTA’s all-electric fleet to six buses. Some of the buses will be used later this year for the city of St. Petersburg’s downtown looper service, connecting to some of the city’s most robust retail, office and hospitality centers.
PSTA is a member of the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber helped PSTA to secure this grant by writing a letter in support of the project.