NEW HAVEN, Conn. — As gas prices reach record highs across the country, Connecticut continues to make the push to go electric. The state is working to switch out its almost all-diesel CTtransit bus fleet, to all-electric buses. It's called Connecticut's Electric Bus Initiative.
On Friday, US Sen. Chris Murphy and members of the Connecticut Department of Transportation got together to announce an $11.4 million federal grant for this project. This funding will bring in 22 brand new electric buses to Connecticut within the next 18 months.
"It is transportation emissions that are the biggest contributor to climate change. And part of our commitment as a state to attacking the problem of climate change is, replacing diesel buses, polluting buses," said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, (D) Connecticut.
Right now, out of 800 buses across the state, only eight of them are electric, servicing the Greater New Haven area. Within 12-15 years, they hope to have electric buses in all CTtransit divisions including Waterbury, Stamford, Hartford and New Haven.
"These buses are quieter, they have great acceleration, they’re cleaner so if you’re in a neighborhood or community where these buses are traveling on your roads, you’re going to have cleaner air," said Rich Andreski, CTDOT Public Transportation Bureau Chief.
The good news for riders is that the switch to electric won't cost them more. Andreski said ticket prices will not go up. Despite this, the actual cost of the electric cost is expensive...coming in at nearly $1 million.
“Although there is a premium to buy these, the total cost of ownership is cheaper," Andreski said.
Andreski said the electric buses are faster, they don't require oil changes, and the overall life of the vehicle is more efficient.
“We can change all that! It’s within our power to decide to not have an economy that’s dependent on oil that’s produced in Russia. And right behind me is the way that we do that," Sen. Murphy said.
This all comes at a time when relying on gas is getting more expensive.
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