Rhode Island begins construction of electric bus charging station

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The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) recently began construction of the state’s first electric bus in-line charging station.

The $6.7 million Electric Bus In-Line Charging Station will be located along the R-Line, RIPTA’s busiest route, connecting Providence and Pawtucket. It will have the capacity to charge up to three electric buses simultaneously and will include an on-site snow-melt system and
driver restrooms.

The project is expected to complete by autumn.

“This new electric charging station is not only a key component in our battle against climate change, but an environmental justice tool as well,” Scott Avedisian, RIPTA CEO, said. “Constructing this station at Broad City Line cements our commitment to reducing global carbon emissions while improving air quality for transit-dependent communities burdened by the adverse health effects of pollution.”

Rhode Island committed approximately $14.4 million of the state’s Volkswagen settlement funds to improve air quality. The majority of the charging station project is primarily funded by the settlement, with the remainder from federal transit funding.

RIPTA launched a pilot program in 2019 with three leased all-electric buses. Construction of the charging station and the purchase of 14 electric buses are part of Phase II.

Phase I tested the performance of the electric buses on various routes.