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Counties across the Tampa Bay region receive funds to purchase electric buses

Man at an electric charging station next to a Pinellas County Transit Authority electric bus
Duke Energy
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will receive $18 million toward the purchase of 60 new electric buses.

Several counties in the greater Tampa Bay region will receive funds as part of the Volkswagen settlement, including three school districts.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday the state Department of Environmental Protection is awarding more than $68 million to 13 counties across Florida for the purchase of electric buses.

In a news release, DeSantis said the money will go toward the purchase of 227 electric transit buses, including in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee counties.

“This funding will help lower emissions while also bringing our transit bus fleets to more modern standards,” DeSantis said in the release. “This is a win-win for air quality and advancing the state’s efforts to bolster growing electric vehicle usage.”

According to DEP, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will receive $18 million toward the purchase of 60 new electric buses.

Pasco County Public Transportation and USF Parking and Transportation Services will each receive $600,000 to purchase two buses.

In addition, three school districts across the greater Tampa Bay region are among seven across the state that received funds from an earlier payout to go toward the purchase of electric school buses):

  • Pinellas County: $5,542,335 (20 school buses)
  • Manatee County: $5,026,493 (20 school buses)
  • Sarasota County: $2,840,916 (12 school buses)

“Florida continues to be a national leader in air quality and is proud to be the most populous state in the nation to have met all of EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton said in a release. “Through collaboration with partner agencies and the private sector, we are able to implement projects to protect air quality and support the needs of our communities.”
DEP also has awarded grants to install 150 electric vehicle charging stations along the state highway system.

The German automaker agreed to pay out nearly $15 billion in 2016 after admitting it installed devices to mask pollution in more than a half million diesel-powered vehicles. States received $2.9 billion as part of the settlement.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.