Officials get $1.1M grant for new buses

NASHUA – City officials hope to improve the public transportation system by replacing two diesel-powered trolleys with a pair of hybrid diesel-electric buses, thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

“These two new buses will complement the fleet of eight compressed natural gas buses that went on the road last year and will further our goal of reducing emissions and making Nashua a more sustainable community,” Mayor Jim Donchess said.

Nashua Transportation Manager Camille Pattison said these new busses will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, thanks to a partnership with BAE Systems.

“These vehicles will have BAE Systems’ HybriDrive Series Propulsion Systems and next generation energy storage systems,” Pattison said. “These new technologies will significantly reduce emissions and assist the city of Nashua in achieving its goal of reducing municipal vehicle emissions by 25 percent by 2025.”

Nashua’s been switching its diesel fleet of buses in favor of more fuel-efficient vehicles for the past year. In November, the city unveiled a $4 million fleet of environmentally friendly, handicap-accessible, and technologically advanced buses. Those buses are powered by compressed natural gas, which typically produces 30 percent less greenhouse gas than regular diesel or gasoline.

Members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Maggie Hassan, as well as U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, shared credit for helping to get the funding for the buses.

“This grant represents an exciting improvement to existing public transportation and will be better for the environment,” said Shaheen, who advocated for this funding as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or dfisher@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DF.