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GMT starts move to electric buses

Green Mountain Transit will soon employ two new electric buses in Burlington thanks to a half million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Green Mountain Transit launched a pilot electric bus program in April, putting a 40-foot battery-powered bus with a range of 160 miles on the road for a couple weeks.

The agency plans to replace its aging diesel-powered buses with electric buses.

Vermont’s Congressional delegation announced the grant, which will funnel through the Vermont Agency of Transportation, last week.

In a joint statement, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch said: “Public transit is already an excellent way to reduce carbon emissions, by giving people the option to get out of their cars and into buses. By using electric buses instead of fossil fuel-burning buses, we reduce those emissions even further.

“Since these electric buses will be charged by Burlington Electric Department, which gets 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, they are just about the cleanest way imaginable to transport area residents.”

GMT General Manager Mark Sousa added, “We look forward to expanding our fleet to include this next generation of transit vehicles that move people quietly, cleanly and efficiently while helping to meet state climate goals.”