Ben Franklin Transit gets $1 million to buy new buses - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ben Franklin Transit gets $1 million to buy new buses

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- Some good news for Ben Franklin Transit who applied for a $3 million federal grant several months ago in hopes of replacing their aging bus fleet.

The US Department of Transportation will give BFT $1 million in funding under the 2012 Bus Livability Program. BFT Services Manager, Kathy McMullen says they will buy four new buses, costing about $400,000 each.

She says there is a big need for new buses. "We've been buying some used buses to replace our very old fleet. We had buses that were 1988 that were over a million miles. We still have a lot of 1995, 1996's with over 600 thousand miles. So this will be really great they'll have less maintenance, " says McMullen.

McMullen says they originally planned on buying hybrid buses but found the batteries don't last as long and are expensive to replace. She says they're now looking into clean diesel fuel buses. She says the ordering and paperwork, they won't arrive for about two years.

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