City transit to go greener — eventually

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, February 15, 2018

By Lorenzo Salinas


At some undisclosed point in the future, the city will feature a cleaner, eco-friendlier option for public transport.

The city of Port Arthur approved a resolution to contract with the Center for Transportation and the Environment for the zero-emission electric bus project Tuesday at the regular council meeting in City Hall.

However, it is only the first step in bringing electric buses and charge stations to Port Arthur — something that could take a while.

“We are in the process of going through a grant to get some electric buses,” Adam Saunders, interim transit director, said. “It’s a little ways down the line just because it’s the first part of a lengthy process.”

Saunders explained that there are a lot of federal procedures to complete before they could order the vehicles and various, related equipment. As such, there was no official timetable given yet for the project, review process or acquisition stage.

Saunders said the CTE would be the organization to come in and determine such things like routes, charging stations, categories of electric buses and what, if any, changes would be needed for existing routes.

CTE is a member-supported, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose stated mission is to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the country’s energy and transportation systems.

The motion passed Tuesday in Port Arthur would appear to be another step forward for a city transit department that has prided itself on elevated standards of operation such as voluntarily adopting the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

According to the city’s website, Port Arthur Transit utilizes OHSA as its minimum safety standard.

PAT’s current services runs five days a week from 6:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Average fare is $1.50.