Original article by Your Big Sky
The Billings Metropolitan Transit System is set to receive over 3 million dollars in competitive grant money from the Federal Transit Administration. According to the press release, the city will use the money to purchase four electric buses, replacing four diesel buses.
The competitive grant money will also update the MET facility to install electric bus charging stations. Rusty Logan, the MET Transit Manager, says the grant will also include money to train staff to adapt to electric buses easily while relying on diesel buses through the transition.
“MET has been making strides in recent years on improving transit service and the customer experience while setting the stage to eventually transition to green technology, as we will do with these grant funds,” Logan said.
The money comes at a time when MET transit is making changes to improve future services to cater to the needs of Billings’ growing population. Final recommendations from the public for transit improvements are set for Aug. 18 at 5:30 p.m.
“More people being able to use the system means less cars on the road, which means less pollution. Add in electric busts, and you’ve got an even more climate friendly option,” said Logan.
The competitive grant comes from the Low-No bus and Bus Facilities Program from the Federal Transit Administration. MET was one of hte 150 projects chosen for funding out of 530 submitted applications. The transit system also received funding in 2018, 2019, and 2021 to upgrade buses and transit facilities.
All projects funded nationwide from the grant have totaled over one billion dollars, putting more than 1,000 electric buses in service. Adding eclectic buses helps reduce air emissions, leading to less pollution.
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