TAUNTON — Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority recently added six new electric buses to its environmentally friendly fleet.
Upon arrival, the new buses were welcomed by local officials and residents in an event that was held to introduce the zero-emission vehicles.
The GATRA team worked to secure funding from the Volkswagen Clean Air Settlement to purchase the new buses from manufacturer, Gillig, based in California. Administrator Mark Sousa said he is excited to offer a cleaner alternative to Greater Taunton riders.
“It is important for us to connect with and improve our community by cultivating relationships with those that share the same values,” he said. “We want to be a leader in the community by bringing enhancements to the cities and towns in our service area.”
Gillig Vice President of Sales Bill Fay looks forward to their partnership with GATRA.
“These six new battery electric buses will deliver safe reliable and environmentally friendly transit to the greater Taunton and Attleboro communities,” Fay said.
Taunton Sen. Mark Pacheco spoke to attendees at the event before cutting the ribbon to welcome the new buses.
“I am pleased to support this promising clean transportation initiative paid for by the Volkswagen Clean Air Settlement,” he said.
Before welcoming the new buses to service, Pacheco praised the GATRA team.
“I want to thank administrator Mark Sousa and everyone who helped support getting this environmentally friendly alternative to the riders in the area," Pacheco said.
Rep. Carol Doherty, D-Taunton/Easton, and Rep. Jim Hawkins, D-Attleboro, were also among those who enjoyed the first ride in the quiet and comfortable carbon-free bus.
GATRA oversees operations of fixed route bus services in the cities of Attleboro and Taunton, and the towns of Duxbury, Foxboro, Franklin, Kingston, Mansfield, Marshfield, Middleboro, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Norton, Plainville, Plymouth, Raynham, Seekonk, Wareham and Wrentham.
In total, GATRA services over 28 cities and towns — from southern Norfolk County and northern Bristol County, all the way to Plymouth County and the South Shore — which all have demand response (Dial-A-Ride) services for people with disabilities and seniors.
This article originally appeared on The Taunton Daily Gazette: Taunton-area residents, officials set out on first ride on GATRA electric buses