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Port Authority wants to spend $2M on electric buses |

Port Authority wants to spend $2M on electric buses

Katharine Eagan Kelleman's Twitter account

Port Authority of Allegheny County is planning to purchase its first electric buses this summer.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Port Authority CEO Katharine Eagan Kelleman went on a test ride on electric buses Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

The authority plans to ask its board to approve the purchase of two 40-foot New Flyer electric buses for $1,043,000 each later this summer, said Adam Brandolph, an authority spokesman.

The authority received a $500,000 grant in September that would be used to offset the cost, Brandolph said. The rest would come from the authority’s capital budget.

If approved, the buses would hit the road in about a year, Brandolph said. They would be used primarily on the 88-Penn route in Pittsburgh’s East End.

“We chose the 88-Penn because of the long and relative steep grade of Penn Avenue between 34th Street and 45th Street,” Brandolph said. “We also believe the zero-emissions vehicles will have the greatest impact on improving air quality in a dense, urban area.”

The authority also plans to purchase 60-foot articulated buses when it builds a Bus Rapid Transit system to connect Downtown and Oakland, Brandolph said.

The authority has 32 diesel hybrids, with regenerative breaking, but does not have any all-electric buses, Brandolph said.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, or via Twitter @tclift.

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