SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Santa Maria Regional Transit (SMRT) was recently awarded $6.6 million from the Federal Transit Administration to purchase six electric buses.
“We’re truly grateful to have been awarded this highly competitive funding. It will go a long way in supporting our ongoing approach to modernizing public transit and further improving the quality of life for Santa Maria residents," said Transit Service Manager Gamaliel Anguiano.
"With these funds, SMRT will complete the final phase of transitioning to zero-emission vehicles and be carbon-free by 2024.”
SMRT began its transition to a zero-emissions bus fleet and expects to be 100% electric by 2024 – well ahead of state mandates, according to Anguiano.
Santa Maria's Transit Division is authorized to spend roughly $22 million in federal and state funding over the next two fiscal years to support the purchase of as many as 15 electric buses, in addition to the two already ordered.
All buses will come with new SMRT branding livery, additional passenger amenities, and the latest air quality management system, according to Anguiano.
The grant was part of the Federal Transit Administration's Low-No grant and is part of $1.66 billion in grants nationwide.
There is also a virtual bus driving training simulator included in the grant as part of SMRT's workforce development program.