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County planning to buy electric-powered bus

(ran SE edition of LT)

The county's bus system is buying an electric-powered bus as part of an experiment to see how the technology works.

Directors of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority on Wednesday unanimously approved spending up to $180,000 for the electric bus. That money already was designated for the project in the form of grants from other agencies, said PSTA Executive Director Roger Sweeney.

It is not yet clear where the 22-foot-long bus will operate, but it should be ready to go by next summer, officials said.

Florida Power will provide a solar-power station to refuel the bus, Sweeney said. Researchers at the University of South Florida and the Center for Urban Transportation will help monitor the bus' performance, he said.