River Valley Transit will use a $1 million federal grant to buy a pair of hybrid buses to upgrade its vehicle fleet and provide more environmentally friendly service.
Kevin Kilpatrick, River Valley Transit planning manager, said the buses will replace two older diesel vehicles.
"It will take about a year for them to arrive. Hopefully, by the end of next year," he said.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
River Valley Transit busses stop at L.L. Stearns and Sons Plaza next to the Trade and Transit Center in Downtown Williamsport Friday afternoon.
The 35-foot buses, to become part of a 27-vehicle fleet, will help reduce greenhouse emissions. They will be River Valley Transit's first hybrid buses, Kilpatrick said.
"We are happy to get it," he said of the grant. "It's discretionary funding we applied for."
Electric hybrid buses are designed to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions by using batteries and electric motors to augment a vehicle's internal combustion engine.
"They reduce greenhouse gases," Kilpatrick said.
The local funding represents more than $47 million in U.S. Department of Transportation grants being awarded for transit statewide as part of the Good Repair Program.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, said the dollars are targeted to help maintain bus and rail systems by introducing energy efficient vehicles and building and updating facilities.
The funding is part of a nationwide program by the federal agency to allocate funds for replacing infrastructure components and to ensure that daily riders of public transit are provided with safe and reliable service.