PVTA to use $54M for terminal upgrades, including at UMass

  • The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is receiving $54 million in federal money to improve its facilities at the UMass campus and in Springfield that will allow for the ongoing conversion to batter-electric buses. Gazette file photo

Staff Writer
Friday, December 09, 2022

SPRINGFIELD — Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus facilities in Amherst on the University of Massachusetts campus and on Cottage Street in Springfield are in line for millions of dollars in improvements that will allow for the ongoing conversion to battery-electric buses.

The $54 million for the building upgrades, along with battery-electric bus purchases, is coming through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low- and No-Emission and Bus/Bus Facilities Grant programs, funded through the infrastructure legislation signed by President Joe Biden.

At an event in Springfield, where she was joined by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and Mayor Dominic Sarno, PVTA Administrator Sandra Sheehan explained that the money will go toward several projects, including repairing and upgrading the bus bays at the UMass Bus Maintenance Facility.

The grant will also improve the safety, service capacity and reliability of PVTA’s fleet, and reduce emissions as the agency moves toward electrifying more buses.

“We are extremely grateful for the support we received and the opportunity to expand upon projects that reduce energy consumption and increase access to clean, efficient mass transit,” Sheehan said.

Four battery-electric buses will be bought using the grant money. These will replace traditional diesel-powered buses that have exceeded their useful life. Associated workforce development training will happen, too, Sheehan said.

Neal said the federal money allows PVTA to continue its mission of providing high-quality transportation services while ensuring it is done in an environmentally conscious manner.