Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Delivers Rutland County Two New Electric Transit Buses
Marble Valley Regional Transit District, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources,
VEIC, VTrans, and Green Mountain Power Partner on the Pilot Program to Cut Carbon & Costs
Montpelier, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott and Green Mountain Power (GMP) today announced that public transportation in Rutland County will be cleaner with the arrival of two new all electric transit buses. The Marble Valley Regional Transit District (MVRTD) is now operating these electric buses in place of two diesel fueled buses.
“The transportation sector is Vermont’s largest contributor of carbon emissions, which is why my team and I have prioritized vehicle electrification to combat climate change,” said Governor Scott. “Whether it’s for public transportation or private use, the more accessible we can make electric vehicles the better, and we will continue to work to give Vermonters these options.”
Taking two diesel fueled buses off the road will offset about 15,660 gallons of diesel a year, the greenhouse gas-reduction equivalent of taking about 46 cars off the road. The buses, infrastructure upgrades, and equipment were funded through the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund with a grant of nearly $1.5 million and additional support from Green Mountain Power through clean electrification incentives designed to cut carbon and costs for all customers. With support from the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), Marble Valley Regional Transit District also provided funds for the e-buses.
“This is the future, and we are so excited to be part of this pilot program. Electric transportation is more efficient, more cost-effective, and cleaner. Being able to access funding through the state helped us go electric years sooner than we would have been able to,” said Ken Putnam, the executive director of MVRTD. “It is so great to hear from riders how thrilled they are with the buses and how much they love how quiet they are. And the drivers say the buses are great to drive, with a lot of power.”
The electric buses are currently running a route between Rutland and Middlebury, with plans to start a route to Killington later this spring.
“We are very excited to play a role in bringing electric transit buses to the Rutland community and beyond,” said Julie Moore, secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. “As outlined in the 2021 Initial Climate Action Plan, supporting the transition from medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles to zero emission vehicles is a priority as we work to reduce greenhouse gas and other harmful air emissions from the transportation sector. This pilot program will help us evaluate how battery electric technology can best be utilized to improve the environment and public health while continuing to provide Vermonters with reliable public transportation services.”
“These two electric transit buses are part of the Agency’s commitment to transition to electric vehicles,” said VTrans Secretary Joe Flynn. “These buses provide for operational efficiencies and improved transit service with quieter vehicles while also contributing to Vermont’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the Public Transit Program has 18 e-buses on the road or ordered and we plan to continue to replace internal combustion engines with electric vehicles to the extent possible.”
VEIC is administering the pilot program on behalf of the Agency of Natural Resources, and will track performance, to help expand clean public transportation in Vermont.
“The Agency of Natural Resources has created a compelling vision in using the VW settlement funds to reduce diesel fuel and electrify public transportation. We are grateful for the opportunity to administer this pilot,” said Rebecca Foster, CEO of VEIC. “We congratulate Marble Valley Regional Transit District for this exciting addition to their bus fleet and thank our partners at VTrans and GMP for helping to make emission-free transit a reality for Rutland residents.”
In addition to providing an incentive for each electric bus, GMP provided an incentive towards DC fast chargers for the buses. As transit and other heavy-duty vehicles switch to electric, they provide new opportunities to strengthen the grid when not providing transportation. Serving essentially as battery storage on wheels, energy can flow back to the grid to reenergize buildings or help reduce the costs to other customers by avoiding having to purchase power when it is most expensive.
“At GMP, we are committed to being a part of the solution to help Vermonters electrify their transportation. Individual cars are part of it, but so is cleaning up public transportation options,” Green Mountain Power president and CEO Mari McClure said. “We were excited to partner with others to get these buses out there while also expanding our network of fast charging stations and look forward to continuing to deploy these across Vermont.” McClure also serves on the board of the World Resources Institute Electric School Bus initiative.
VEIC is a sustainable energy company on a mission to generate the energy solutions the world needs. For over 35 years VEIC has been working with governments, utilities, foundations, and businesses across North America to develop and deploy clean energy services that provide immediate and lasting change. With expertise in energy efficiency, building decarbonization, transportation electrification, and new approaches for a clean and flexible grid, VEIC brings innovative solutions to the market. VEIC is nationally recognized for developing pilots and programs that optimize energy use, reduce energy burdens for low-income customers, and advance new technologies. In addition to our full-service consulting business, VEIC administers three large-scale sustainable energy programs: Efficiency Vermont, Efficiency Smart, and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU). https://www.veic.org/
About the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR)
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is charged with oversight and management of Vermont's natural environment on behalf of the people of Vermont. They endeavor to draw from and build upon Vermonters' shared ethic of responsibility for our natural environment, an ethic that encompasses a sense of place, community and quality of life, and an understanding that we are an integral part of the environment, and that we must all be responsible stewards for this and future generations. https://anr.vermont.gov/.
About the Agency of Transportation (VTrans)
The Vermont Agency of Transportation plans, develops, implements, and manages a statewide transportation network, including roads, bridges, railroads, airports, park-and-rides, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and public transportation facilities and services. The Agency’s mission is, “Through excellent customer service, provide for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.”
About Green Mountain Power (GMP)
Green Mountain Power serves 270,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is meeting the needs of customers with integrated energy services that cut carbon and costs, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective, and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. In 2022, GMP was named to TIME’s list of the 100 Most Innovative Companies. Fast Company named GMP one of the top five Most Innovative Companies in North America in 2022. GMP also earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list in the energy sector four years in a row. In 2021, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation.