Electric buses to arrive after $68 million award

RTS Electric bus
An RTS electric bus. (Courtesy City of Gainesville)

New electric buses will arrive in Alachua County and 12 others across Florida following the award of $68 million to obtain 227 electric transit buses.  

The other 12 counties included are Broward, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Leon, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, and Pinellas. 

The funds come from the Florida portion of a Volkswagen settlement that occurred in 2016, netting the state more than $166 million. The lawsuit and settlement came after Volkswagen sold vehicles that failed to meet the U.S. Clean Air Act.  

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also awarded 218 electric school buses to seven school districts—Broward, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco and Pinellas.  

“Florida continues to be a national leader in air quality and is proud to be the most populous state in the nation to have met all of EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton said in a press release. “Through collaboration with partner agencies and the private sector, we are able to implement projects to protect air quality and support the needs of our communities.” 

Florida will also use its funds from the Volkswagen settlement to install 150 electric vehicle charging stations along state highways along with awarding several Diesel Emission Reduction Act projects to reduce emissions in ports.  

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