PDRTA slated to get two new electric buses

By Bobby Bryant Editor

editor@newsandpress.net

The Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority, which runs bus routes in Darlington County, is expected to receive $295,500 for two electric transit buses and the equipment needed to charge them, state officials said last week. These will be the first electric transit buses for the PDRTA, according to a statement from the governor’s office. PDRTA Executive Director Don Strickland said the buses probably will not be in service until 2022. “We’re excited about being selected for the grant,” Strickland told the News & Press. “Everything’s moving toward electric.” Strickland said the agency at first will likely use the electric buses around Florence, since that’s likely where the charging stations will be based. He said Darlington-area riders will likely be using the buses at some later point as well. It’s all part of the second round of funding from the state’s share of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, a massive court settlement that resulted, in part, from accusations that VW had been using “defeat devices” to cheat on emissions tests. The bulk of the new round of money, $23 million, will go for 235 new propane-fueled school buses in at least a dozen state school districts, but the Darlington County School District was not mentioned as one of them. “This announcement shows South Carolina is fully committed to providing the safest, most efficient, and environmentally friendly school buses in the nation,” said state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “Not only will these new propane buses help ensure over 300,000 bus riders get to and from school safely and on time, it will save taxpayers millions of dollars while drastically reducing emissions.”

Author: Rachel Howell

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