Lincoln Transportation and Utilities (LTU) today announced StarTran has been awarded a $387,569 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) for the Lincoln Electric Bus Fleet Replacement Project. The grant will be used to replace six aging diesel buses with six electric buses, bringing StarTran's total number of electric vehicles to 10. The grant also includes the purchase of three electric charging stations with two fueling ports each and staff training. The charging stations and buses are expected to begin service in December.
"StarTran continues to reduce the environmental impacts of public transit by its continued commitment to increase the number of zero-emission buses in its fleet," said LTU Director Liz Elliott. "Electric buses produce zero emissions, are quieter, save on fuel costs, have lower maintenance costs, and offer a positive effect on urban air quality."
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, electric buses are four times more fuel-efficient than diesel buses. With the addition of these electric buses, 57 percent of the fleet will run on electricity or an alternative fuel.
The Trust Board announced the StarTran grant at its June meeting. The project is one of 118 projects receiving $20 million in grant awards from NET this year. Lincoln Electric System also made an in-kind donation of $4,000 for the electric bus program.
The Nebraska Legislature created NET in 1992 using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery. The Trust has provided more than $328 million in grants to more than 2,300 projects across the state. Individuals and groups can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. NET works to preserve, protect, and restore the state's natural resources for future generations.