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Clean Transport

Published on September 18th, 2017 | by James Ayre


US Department Of Transportation Reveals $55 Million “Low Or No Emissions” Bus Grant Program

September 18th, 2017 by  

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration has announced a new $55 million grant program that will see funding provided to various regional transit organizations for the purchase of low- and no-emissions buses and associated infrastructure.

This program — dubbed the “Low or No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle” program — will reportedly see 39 different US states receive a portion of the funding, allowing for 51 different projects to be funded.

“The projects selected through the highly-competitive Low-No program all demonstrate strong value to American communities,” commented FTA Acting Administrator K Jane Williams. “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.”

Taking a quick look at the projects in question, it’s apparent that the US-based electric bus manufacturer Proterra is going to benefit quite a bit from this program — with quite a number of transit authorities being provided with grants for the purchase of Proterra buses and charging infrastructure.

Here’s an overview of a couple of the grants in question (via Green Car Congress):

◊ City of Los Angeles, Department of Transportation: The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) will receive funding to purchase Proterra 35-foot, battery electric, zero emission buses with a capitalized lease for the electric battery and to install electric charging stations at the Sylmar/San Fernando Valley and Downtown Bus Facilities. The funding is for the incremental cost of a battery electric bus over a CNG bus and leverages federal, state, local utilities and local match to purchase the battery electric buses for service expansion. $1,225,000

◊ Connecticut Department of Transportation: The Connecticut Department of Transportation will receive funding to purchase 40′ Proterra E2 Max battery electric buses through a joint effort with CTtransit’s Hartford Division and Greater Bridgeport Transit. The project will be the next step in CTDOT’s zero emission bus deployment program with the goal to minimize the carbon emissions of Connecticut’s bus fleet. $1,450,000

◊ Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit: Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit will receive funding to purchase New Flyer 60′ zero-emission fuel cell electric buses with supporting hydrogen infrastructure. This project will be the first commercial deployment of articulated fuel cell buses in the US. CUMTD will produce hydrogen on-site partially from renewable sources. $1,450,000

◊ South Carolina Department of Transportation: The City of Seneca and Oconee County will purchase 35′ Proterra Catalyst zero-emission extended-range battery electric buses to the nation’s first all-electric transit bus system. This project is part of a planned all-electric transit service expansion to two municipalities in rural Oconee County. $1,450,000

◊ City and County of Honolulu: Honolulu will receive funding for Gillig battery electric buses with depot chargers in the Honolulu area as their inaugural project to transition their fleet to zero emission. This project is unique in that the buses will be charged during the day to take advantage of the renewable energy made available by the abundant solar and wind energy available on the island. Project partners are Oahu Transit Services, Gillig, Hawaiian Electric Company and the Center for Transportation and the Environment. $1,450,000

It’s notable here that while the largest grants are for the most part headed to large urban areas, there are a fair number of grants headed to smaller transit authorities and cities as well. While dense urban areas probably stand to benefit the most from electrification of their transit fleets, smaller cities and transit authorities no doubt will as well.

Images via Proterra


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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