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Central Coast transit district going electric with buses

City of Santa Maria
Santa Maria Regional Transit received $6.6 million in federal funding to buy six new electric buses, as part of its efforts to make its fleet all electric.

Santa Maria Regional Transit hoping to be all-electric by 2024.

A Central Coast transit district has received a big financial boost in its efforts to be more environmentally friendly.

The Santa Maria Transit District is getting $6.6 million from the Federal Transit Administration to buy six new electric buses. The goal is to have a zero-emission fleet by 2024.

Santa Maria is getting $22 million in state and federal funding over the next two years to help with the conversion. The city has already ordered two electric buses, but the outside funding will allow the purchase of up to 15 more.

In addition to being more environmentally friendly, converting the bus fleet to all-electric is projected to save about $300,000 a year in operating and maintenance costs.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.