Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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City seeks no electric buses in state grant applications

Burlington’s city council has signed off on two grant applications to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for funds to replace the vehicle fleet that serves its Link Transit bus system.

The council approved the two applications during a regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday after a pair of public hearings that were presided over remotely by John Andoh, the city’s interim transit manager.

Andoh had previously pitched a fleet replacement plan to the council that called for the acquisition of two electric buses as part of the bus system’s fleet upgrade. Yet, the grant applications that he presented on Tuesday specified only the purchase of gas-powered vehicles – five gas-burning buses to run the system’s regular routes and three gas-powered paratransit vehicles to convey the bus system’s disabled passengers.

The council ultimately gave its unanimous nod to both of the grant applications after Tuesday’s public hearings failed to draw any comments from the city’s residents. Even so, the exclusion of electric vehicles from grant applications didn’t go entirely unremarked by the council.

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“I liked it better when it said electric,” the city’s mayor pro tem Kathy Hykes told the rest of the council.

“The grant gets a lot more expensive when you do it that way,” mayor Ian Baltutis added before that evening’s 5-0 vote in favor of the two grant applications.

See other recent transit coverage: 

Possibility of adding two electric buses to Link Transit fleet discussed:

How many jobs does interim transit manager have?

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