Rhode Island announces plans for Volkswagen settlement money

–Markus Schreiber / AP Photo, File

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island plans to use the $14.4 million it’s getting from the national Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal settlement to replace public buses that run on diesel fuel with electric vehicles, and to install high-speed electric vehicle charging stations.

The plan for the funds was announced Thursday by Gov. Gina Raimondo’s office, the Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority.

The Democratic governor says expanding electric bus technology will drive economic growth while reducing the state’s carbon footprint.

RIPTA says it will lease three zero-emissions electric buses this fall, and gradually replace aging diesel buses with 16 to 20 electric buses.

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Some settlement money will be used to create a network of 15 to 30 fast, electric-vehcle charging stations along the Interstate 95 corridor in 2020.