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Grant Allows SEPTA To Move Forward With Purchase Of 25 Electric Buses

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- SEPTA is taking another greener turn. It's one of a handful of transit agencies across the country taking in federal grant money to put electric buses on Philadelphia streets.

The more than $2.5 million Federal Transit Administration grant will help SEPTA purchase 25 "zero emission" electric buses.

"The buses will be used on two routes in South Philadelphia - bus routes 29 and 79."

SEPTA deputy general manager Rich Burnfield says, "Both of the routes are fairly short, level, and a good fit for a pilot for electric buses."

Burnfield says the new 40-foot buses will get their juice at two planned charging stations.

"Essentially what the bus will do is come underneath a canopy type structure and receive a fast charge. It takes about ten minutes."

The grant funds the price differential between a standard $700,00 diesel/electric hybrid bus and an $800,000 electric bus.

Burnfield says SEPTA has one of the greenest bus fleets in the country, since 50 percent are already those hybrids.


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