City Council voted to appropriate $425,021 in the General Fund for Greenlink at tonight’s formal City Council meeting, bringing the City’s total funding for transit to $4,187,904 (including contributed services) this year. Part of the funding will go toward the local match for Greenlink’s application to the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emissions (Low-No) grant program for four additional Proterra electric buses and charging infrastructure. The remaining funds will be used to improve bus stops serving Prisma Health facilities in the city, which could include installing covered stops, improving ADA accessibility and adding additional sidewalk/crosswalk infrastructure.
The appropriation is the City’s FY2019 funding from Greenville Health Authority (GHA), whose commitment for annual contributions continues for 34 years. In addition to appropriating the FY2019 funding for transit, City Council expressed its intent to continue utilizing the GHA funding to support Greenlink operations in FY2020 and beyond, subject to annual appropriation. For the upcoming fiscal year, the City’s total cash contributions to Greenlink will be in excess of $1,200,000.
With $606,000 in local match commitments and 63 letters of support from the community, Greenlink is requesting $3.468 million from the Federal Transit Administration to purchase four 35-foot buses and their charging equipment. In 2017, Greenville Transit Authority received a $1.45 million Low-No grant, which was used to purchase two of Greenlink’s four new 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses. Greenlink expects to deploy the new 40-foot buses next month.
Greenlink’s Transit Development Plan outlines phased improvements such as extending service hours to 11:30 p.m. and doubling service frequency from 60-minute service to 30-minute service; however, to implement these service enhancements, Greenlink will need additional buses. Greenville Transit Authority and the City also have a shared vision of a transit system that runs entirely on electricity.
“This additional funding will support Greenlink’s efforts to implement the recommendations of the Transit Development Plan by improving the frequency of service and thereby increasing access to healthcare in the Greenville area,” said Mayor Knox White. “The new electric zero-emission vehicles will also help make the air healthier for our community and move Greenlink another step closer to making the vision of a fully electric fleet a reality.”