The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) this week announced $409.3 million in grants to 70 projects in 39 states to modernize and electrify transit bus fleets across the country.
According to a news release from FTA, the grants will help dozens of communities buy new-technology and electric buses in order to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and promote cleaner air.
FTA received more than $2.5 billion in funding requests, more than five times the amount of funding available under previous legislation. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), an additional $5.1 billion in grant funding is authorized under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program over the next five years, which means funding is available for additional projects.
"Transit agencies are replacing aging buses and facilities with newer, cleaner infrastructure that is more efficient to operate and maintain," FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said in a statement. "Modern buses, especially those powered with electric batteries or fuel cells, improve air quality and help us address the climate crisis."
One of the agencies that will receive funding is the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), which will receive $4.87 million to purchase hydrogen fuel cell buses and install solar lighting at bus stops. RTC says the purchase of three 60-ft hydrogen fuel-cell fixed-route buses allows the agency to further implement its Zero Emissions Bus Rollout Plan, which calls for a fully electric transit fleet by 2035.
“We thank Nevada’s federal delegation for their unwavering leadership and support of these programs that help enhance safety and sustainability in our region,” Henderson Mayor and RTC Chairwoman Debra March said in a statement. “With this additional funding, the RTC can incorporate new and innovative technologies that will help the state reach its sustainability goals and protect public health and the environment, while also increasing safety and mobility options.”
Another agency that will receive funding is the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), which will receive $15 million to build a new bus maintenance facility in Clayton County, Georgia. MARTA says the Clayton Operations & Maintenance Facility will support 31 regional bus routes and over 250 buses, while increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs. The agency says the project is estimated to support over 350 construction jobs, as well as more than 700 new permanent jobs.
“As we embark on our largest expansion program in decades, MARTA is excited about this news and grateful for the support,” MARTA Interim General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood said in a statement. “The Clayton O&M facility has now been awarded $33 million in total federal funds, which underscores the value and importance of this project.”
SOURCE: Federal Transit Administration | MARTA | RTC Southern Nevada