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Stories focused on energy & environment topics throughout the state of Kansas.

Wichita Moving Forward On Effort To Acquire Electric Buses

The city of Wichita is working to acquire more electric buses.

More electric buses may be on the way to Wichita.

The City Council voted Tuesday to move forward on a federal grant application for the purchase of six electric buses.

If approved, the nearly $6 million grant could mean electric buses on the street as early as 2019. Electric buses are quieter, better for the environment and more fuel efficient than diesel buses.

The city has applied for two other grants and has received $4 million, according to Mike Tann, Wichita’s transit director.

“Our goal is to take advantage of everything that is available to us on the cost saving side," Tann said, "so that we can reduce the amount of time between buses, which makes public transit more usable for more parts of the population.”

Tann thinks that electric buses will reduce operating and maintenance costs and the savings will go back into the transit system.

LaRissa Lawrie is an intern in the KMUW News Lab. Follow her on Twitter @lawriecreative.