Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt spoke at the event about the importance of collaboration with the federal government in making the project possible.
“We’re trying to stay on top of this and one of the efforts that we make is engaging our partners in Washington,” Kleinschmidt said. “We are proud today to see the realization of our partnership: seven and a half million dollars later, 15 new buses added to our aging fleet.”
U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C., who also spoke at the unveiling, commented on the steps local government is taking to better the transit system.
“We’ve got to promote not just growth, but smart growth,” Price said. “It’s often though easier said than done. Today we’re doing it, and we should make note of that and celebrate that.”
Price also mentioned the importance of sustainable community investments like these.
“We’ve got to ensure that economic development doesn’t come at the expense of responsible stewardship of our natural resources, that same quality of life that we treasure,” Price said.
Other attendees shared Price’s enthusiasm.
Robert Bush, a Chapel Hill Transit rider, said he thought the current buses are too old.
“I think the old buses were decrepit, so it’s nice to have new ones to replace them,” Bush said. “They’re nice and clean. They’re better for the environment and a lot quicker.”
Mia Scales, who brought her child to play at the event, said she appreciated the town investing in environmentally friendly projects.
“It’s perfect for clean buses and better air quality, those are the chief benefits,” Scales said. “I am an advocate of any green activity or movement.”
Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil said he hoped the town explores sustainable investments in the future.
“Anything that decreases dependency on carbon-based sources would be good,” Stancil said. “Hopefully this is just one of the other sources we can tap.”
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