Council approves electric bus grant application



Darby Baldwin, left, and Pullman Chief of Police Gary Jenkins discuss the department’s annual crime report during a Pullman Police Advisory Committee meeting Monday.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman City Council approved a resolution allowing Transit to apply for a grant that would provide a majority of the funding needed for the purchasing of an all-electric charging system and the city’s first all-electric bus.

The grant application resolution was the only item on the regular agenda at Tuesday’s meeting and passed unanimously.

Transit Manager Wayne Thompson gave a presentation in front of the council explaining the importance of the grant and the reasoning behind requesting the resolution at this meeting, as the application is due Friday. Thompson said electric buses is the future of Pullman Transit and moving forward he would like to acquire them faster.

“Two electric buses in the two-year cycle would be my preference,” Thompson said.

Thompson also asked the council for continued support going forward as Transit plans on coming back multiple times in the future for more assistance and approval in purchasing electric buses.

Councilmember Brandon Chapman praised Thompson for his forward-thinking approach.

“Thank you for thinking in the future for us,” Chapman said.

The buses will begin to replace the old diesel buses, some of which began their service in the early 1990s, in the coming years as grant funding is awarded, Thompson said. The electric buses will be 35 feet, the same size as their older counterparts.