Steamship Authority awarded two grants to fund electric bus purchases

Posted: December 23, 2019

FALMOUTH (December 20, 2019) – The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority is pleased to announce it has been named the recipient of $875,000 in grant monies to fund the purchase of electric buses and related support infrastructure for its parking operations in Falmouth and Hyannis.

The Authority has received notice of awards for $500,000 from the Volkswagen Settlement Grants program, administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and for $375,000 from the Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5339 (c) Low or No-Emission Program (“Low-No”) as part of a joint application with the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, and the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority.

Both awards will be used to offset the price differential between a diesel and an electric bus, which is approximately $350,000 depending on the size of the bus, as well as charging equipment for the vehicles.

“The news of these awards comes as a most welcome Christmas present for the Authority and its customers,” General Manager Robert B. Davis said. “With this funding, we can start in earnest our transition to a fleet of electric buses for our parking operations. The buses will not only help us reduce our diesel emissions and carbon footprint but provide for a quieter overall ride, which will benefit our customers and neighbors in Falmouth, Woods Hole and Hyannis.

“The Low-No grant application was accompanied by support from our local, state, and federal elected officials, and I wish to thank State Sen. Julian Cyr, State Rep. Sarah Peake, and State Rep. Dylan Fernandes for their letter of support, as well as a letter sent by our Board earlier this year. And I especially wish to thank VTA Administrator Angela Grant, who spearheaded the combined Low-No grant that collectively brought $2.2 million to the involved agencies.”

The Authority will review the grant specifications for each program as part of its review in January of its 2020 Capital Budget and to determine when it will begin to add electric buses to its fleet.

The grant awards come on the heels of a $2.5 million award to the Authority from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Passenger Ferry Grant Program to support the cost of a new terminal building as part of its Woods Hole Terminal Reconstruction Project.