The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the selection of 10 projects that will receive a share of US$55m in competitive grants that will help put a new generation of advanced, non-polluting transit buses on the road in communities across the country. Funding is provided through the FTA’s ‘Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program’ (LoNo). Recently established under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the LoNo program focuses on deploying the cleanest and most energy-efficient US-made transit buses, which are designed to cut carbon pollution and other traditional pollutants. Grants from the LoNo program will help transit agencies integrate more of the low-carbon buses into their fleets, with the aim of improving air quality in cities across the USA.
The selected projects include: TARC, the transit agency for the Louisville, Kentucky, and southern Indiana area, which will receive US$3.3m to deploy five Proterra battery-electric buses and a fast charging station; Sunline Transit Agency, in partnership with the Southern California Association of Governments, will receive US$9.8m to deploy five hydrogen electric-hybrid fuel cell buses built by Ballard Power Systems, BAE Systems and ElDorado National; and the Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will receive approximately US$2.6m to purchase 17 electric-hybrid buses manufactured by BAE Systems and Gillig to replace current diesel buses that are at the end of their useful life.
“The Obama Administration is committed to investing in 21st Century transportation solutions like these zero emission buses,” said US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx. “These innovative, energy-efficient buses will help increase efficiency, improve air quality and reduce our nation’s dependence on oil.” Announcing the awards at the Louisville home of grant recipient TARC, the FTA’s senior advisor, Carolyn Flowers, said, “As the nation’s population and transit ridership continue to rise, we must invest in innovative technologies that will help transit agencies like TARC expand their bus fleets and bring a new generation of energy-efficient buses to Louisville and cities and towns nationwide. These grant awards will also help create new jobs and support a growing industry of domestic manufacturers who are developing advanced technologies to power public transportation for the future.”