The Santa Maria City Council has amended the city's financial budget to purchase five electric buses.
The City Council approved moving $4,900,000 in the Santa Maria Regional Transit Fund that was originally allotted for the 2023-24 Mid-cycle Budget to the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23, according to the City Council's meeting agenda for Feb 21.
According to city officials, the goal of amending the budget was to expedite the purchase of electric buses, which costs roughly $900,000 each.
The city is expected to have a total of 18 electric buses by the beginning of 2024.
"The action taken by the City Council expedited the purchase of the buses that were originally allocated in the second year," said Gamaliel Anguiano, City of Santa Maria Transit Manager, "so that we can accomplish them in the first year of the two year budget."
The Santa Maria Regional Transit launched its first two electric bus services last November. The buses were upgraded with safety and passenger amenities, including public Wi-Fi.