U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will award $2.4 million to the Riverside Transit Agency in response to its request for funding to help replace current natural gas buses. The money is part of the $59 million in grants that the Federal Transit Administration announced on Friday, Sept. 14.
According to bus agency officials, the grant money will help to replace old natural gas buses currently running on Inland streets. The RTA has budgeted a total of $51.7 million to buy 97 full-sized buses over the next three years, and an additional 48 if needed.
RTA’s marketing director, Jim Kneepkens, said that this month the RTA would go to the board of directors to gain approval for the first purchase.
If the staff proposal is approved during the Sept. 27 board meeting, the first of the new buses—built by Gillig LLC—would be delivered in early 2014.
Kneepkens said that officials could not comment on the grant until the FTA made the official announcement, but that the RTA will match the grant money with local dollars.
The RTA’s proposal was one of 27 selected through the Transit Administration’s Clean Fuel Grant Program out of 146 proposals from 35 states and the District of Columbia.