Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach (BSOOB) Transit has received a total of $1,224,531 to purchase two on-route chargers for their two electric buses. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Low and No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle Grant Program. This grant program was funded in the Fiscal Year 2021 annual appropriations package that was signed into law in December.
“BSOOB Transit has been serving Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, and Scarborough for more than 40 years. Meeting the transportation needs of these communities’ residents as well as their significant influx of summer visitors requires a public transit system that is safe, reliable, and eco-friendly,” said Senator Collins. “As the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I strongly advocated for this funding that will allow BSOOB to take two more diesel buses off the road and replace them with battery-powered, carbon-neutral, and 100% sustainable buses.”
“All of us at BSOOB Transit are very excited at the announcement that we are receiving this generous grant,” said Rod Carpenter, Interim Executive Director of Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit. “This award along with Maine DOT funding will complete the necessary infrastructure enhancement by adding two fast charging stations at the Saco Transportation Center and will be the final piece of our initial start-up of the transition to electric buses.”
In 2019, Senator Collins announced that BSOOB Transit was awarded a grant to replace two diesel buses with two electric buses replacing as well as purchase depot charging infrastructure and on-route charging infrastructure. Due to increased project costs, however, BSOOB Transit did not have sufficient funding to purchase the on-route charging equipment, which would have prevented their new electric buses from remaining on the road for a full 16-hour service day. This funding will allow BSOOB Transit to purchase the necessary charging equipment and keep their diesel buses off the road.