SouthWest Transit (SWT) has been awarded a low or no emission vehicle grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for over $8.1 Million.
It will allow SWT to replace 10 aging diesel/gas vehicles with fully electric vehicles (EVs) by 2026.
According to a news release, the 10 EVs slated to be purchased include four new fully electric coach express buses, six new all-electric SW Prime vehicles, and the necessary charging infrastructure needed to power the vehicles. The grant also includes funding to provide EV training to SWT’s vehicle maintenance team.
SWT expects the 10 new EVs to be in service by 2026. The addition of the new EVs, along with the three EVs SWT already introduced to its SW Prime microtransit service this year, further sets SWT on a path of fulfilling one of its goals identified in its Agency Sustainability Plan – converting its entire fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2050.
The four new all-electric express buses will be put into service for SWT to and from downtown Minneapolis as well as the University of Minnesota. And, the six new all-electric small transit vehicles will be used for its SW Prime service offered in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Carver, and Victoria since 2015.
“This generous grant award from the FTA is a major step towards SWT realizing its sustainability goals,” said Matt Fyten, SWT’s interim CEO. “SWT has a tradition and commitment to innovation that brings about real and meaningful positive change to our riders and the communities we serve. This substantial grant award further demonstrates that commitment.”
SouthWest Transit provides public transit service for Chanhassen, Chaska, and Eden Prairie and express bus service to Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota.