CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham Area Transit (CAT) has received a $1.87 million grant for the purchase of three electric buses, charging stations and a mobile generator.
CAT applied earlier this year for the low, or no emission grant to help achieve its goal of reducing air and noise pollution. The electric buses will replace diesel buses that have reached the end of their operating life, CAT says.
“We are pleased to receive this fantastic news from FTA about the grant and thank our community stakeholders for their continued support of public transit,” interim Executive Director/CEO Michael Brown said. “Not only will this help CAT modernize its fleet and achieve its environmental stewardship goals, but it will also reduce maintenance costs and our carbon footprint”
CAT will provide $1.87 million in matching funds for the project, which will come from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax approved by voters.
Senator Kelly Loeffler said that week that she sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of the funding.
“The Chatham Area Transit provides four million passenger trips a year,” Loeffler said. “Local residents depend on the buses to get to work and school, while visitors use the system to visit the City Market and Forsyth Park or ride the Savannah Belles Ferry to Hutchinson Island. I am glad to see CAT receive this grant which will help purchase three new zero-emission buses that will improve reliability and reduce pollution.”
The grant will build off previous grant funding awarded to CAT in recent years, which helped purchase six electric buses. The first of the electric buses were supposed to arrive in early fall 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed that timeline.
The buses purchased with the latest grant are expected to be put into use in late 2022.