By Anthony Zepperi, Staff Writer
HARTFORD – Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the Connecticut Department of Transportation has been awarded a $6.7 million federal grant to modernize the CTtransit bus facility in Stamford, similar to that of Hartford.
This grant will help to provide accommodations for battery electric buses, which will soon be used on the system.
Lamont said that there will be major improvements to the bus system with this grant, which came from the Federal Transit Administration’s Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
“Connecticut’s public transit system is long overdue for a modernization, and this grant will help in our transition to an electric bus fleet on the CTtransit system, which will provide both environmental and economic benefits to the region,” Lamont said.
The grant will also be used to upgrade the infrastructure at the CTtransit Stamford bus facility to handle battery electric buses.
Electric buses are currently on order and were funded through Connecticut’s share of the 2018 Volkswagen emissions settlement, along with FTA funds (80 percent federal, 20 percent state). Twelve buses are being purchased for operation in the New Haven and Stamford service areas.
According to a press release, the Stamford facility improvements include upgrades to the building’s HVAC system, electrical upgrades to handle increased loads as well as upgrades to fire suppression systems and LED lighting upgrades.
These improvements will retrofit the existing bus garage to accommodate the unique needs of the new electric buses.
Federal money for the Stamford facility modernization comes a few months after CTDOT received a $2 million FTA grant for a two-year program that will run autonomous buses on the Hartford-to-New Britain rapid transit bus line.
Senator Richard Blumenthal said that there are various advantages to having good, efficient bus transportation systems.
“Clean green energy bus transportation reduces pollution and global warming,” Blumenthal said. “These federal funds will help spur much-needed upgrades and repairs for the existing fleet, and pay for new electric buses,” Blumenthal said
Blumenthal said that the state is approaching their original goal for general bus transportation.
“Benefiting our environment and the economy, Connecticut is one step closer to making eco-friendly the go-to public transportation option for all residents,” Blumenthal said.
Connecticut Transportation Commissioner, Joseph Giulietti said that the department assured people that these new efficient buses will be an improvement.
“CTDOT is committed to incorporating electric buses into our fleet to significantly reduce emissions,” Giulietti said. “This grant represents great progress toward our electric bus future and helps to recognize the ongoing value of these continued investments in our public transportation system.”