BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Christmas came early for several Colorado communities. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration awarded $18 million in federal grants statewide to improve the safety and reliability of Colorado transit bus systems and enhance mobility for riders.

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The grants are part of $423 million in transit infrastructure grants nationwide which were announced last week by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

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Six projects in Colorado will receive a total of $18 million from FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.

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One of the communities receiving the federal funds: Breckenridge.

The resort mountain town received $2 million to help replace diesel buses with battery-electric ones. The town’s free ride takes residents and visitors alike from ski slopes to Main Street.

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Breckenridge official’s plan to phase out their fossil fuel bus fleet has already started. Two electric buses are already on routes.

Officials say the grant will allow them to buy three more electric buses. The charging stations are included in the price tag: nearly $1 million per bus.

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“This is an investment in the community and clean energy moving Breckenridge forward,” said Jennifer Pullen, the Assistant Public Works Director in Breckenridge.

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Pullen added the process to have an electric bus built takes about 18 months so they plan on ordering the three new buses very soon.