This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will send $68 million to buy electric transit buses across the state.
The funds, which come through a settlement with Volkswagen, will go to replace diesel buses with 227 electric ones. The funds will go to by new busses in Alachua, Broward, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Leon, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco and Pinellas Counties.
“This funding will help lower emissions while also bringing our transit bus fleets to more modern standards,” said DeSantis. “This is a win-win for air quality and advancing the state’s efforts to bolster growing electric vehicle usage.”
The governor’s office also noted that DEP is helping seven school districts buy 218 electric busses in Broward, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas and Sarasota Counties.
“Introducing electric buses is an important and effective way to reduce harmful emissions, especially in highly populated areas where mobile sources are the largest sources of air pollution. As more and more electric vehicles are deployed, emissions of air pollutants will be reduced, which will continue to improve Florida’s air quality,” the governor’s office noted.
“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,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “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.”
The funds are part of DEP’s Florida Beneficiary Mitigation Plan which, the governor’s office noted, “was created to outline how the state would spend its allotted $166 million from the Volkswagen settlement” and includes “constructing new electric vehicle charging stations, procuring electric buses for select school districts and transit agencies, and providing funding for Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) projects.”
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