AASHTO Journal

FTA Awards $55M in Grants for High-Tech/Low- and No-Emission Buses

The Federal Transit Administration said it awarded $55 million in 2017 grants to state departments of transportation and other agencies to help them buy low- or no-emission vehicles, in a funding round that aids 51 projects in 39 states.

That FTA program supports development of transit buses and related infrastructure that use advanced-fuel technologies. This round mainly funded electric bus deployments, plus use of fuel cell technology.

Eligible projects include those that replace, rehabilitate, lease and purchase rolling stock and supporting equipment as well as facility projects such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance. Projects can also include workforce development components to train the next generation of transit workers.

capitol0816.jpgFTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams said grant-winning projects in this round "all demonstrate strong value to American communities. As transit providers nationwide face a backlog of maintenance needs, it is imperative to replace aging buses near the end of their useful life with newer, cleaner models that are also more efficient to operate and maintain."

Here is the full list of grant recipients.

They include $1.75 million to the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority, in partnership with the Georgia DOT, to buy battery-electric buses and supporting charging infrastructure and replace aging diesel units.

The FTA is providing $1.45 million to the Connecticut DOT to buy electric buses through a joint effort with CTtransit's Hartford Division and Greater Bridgeport Transit.

Another $1.45 million grant will fund a Colorado project to replace aging diesel buses with zero-emission buses for the town of Vail, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and the city of Boulder.

Montgomery County, Md., which includes suburbs of Washington, D.C., will use a $1.75 million award to buy electric buses and depot chargers to replace diesel buses, in what will be the densely populated county's first zero-emission buses.

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities will get $408,130 in FTA funding to buy electric buses, associated charging infrastructure for Juneau. The FTA said Alaska's capital has a clean, renewable source of energy in local hydropower, and that transitioning to an all-electric fleet will both eliminate emissions from diesel buses and end the need to ship diesel fuel from more than 900 miles away.

Other grants include $1.2 million to the Massachusetts DOT and the Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority to purchase transit buses and an energy storage system.

The Oregon Department of Transportation in partnership with Wilsonville's South Metro Area Regional Transit was awarded $1.45 million to buy electric buses for fixed routes in that city.

The South Carolina DOT received $1.45 million to help city of Seneca and Oconee County buy electric buses for a planned expansion of transit service to two municipalities in rural areas.

A $500,000 grant went to the Utah DOT and Park City Transit to buy long-range electric buses with depot chargers to replace diesel buses and help create a Resort Connector Express route.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation was awarded $480,000 for electric buses in a collaborative effort that includes a local utility, bus company and a private energy company, with the new vehicles to be deployed at Green Mountain Transit in Burlington.

Photo / FTA press release

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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