Athens Clarke County is currently applying for a key grant to replace their aging buses. Ten Athens Transit buses will reach the end of their lifespan by next fall.
Mayor Nancy Denson has applied for SERTA, a 6 million dollar grant that would cover the costs for these buses. “The fact that we stepped up to the bar on our own to a great degree,” the mayor says, “helps us when we are going after these grants.” The city put up 1.5 million dollars for these buses.
According to Athens Transit director Butch McDuffie, there are 3 options for the new buses. The low-sulfur diesel buses cost 450 thousand dollars per unit, while the hybrid electric buses cost 650 thousand dollars per unit. The buses that are fully electric cost 770 thousand dollars per unit.
Athens transit passengers say that they like the hybrid change. “I think its nice that we are trying to keep the environment safe from our emissions,” says passenger Dustin Tilley.
Athens Clarke County hopes the grant will be approved in May or June.
By: Cameron Martinez, Jared Sweat