Larisa Manescu, email@example.com
NATIONWIDE – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced 130 awards making up nearly $1.7 billion to fund cleaner transit projects, including zero-emission buses in communities across the country.
The funding, which comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will support projects in 46 states and territories and invest in buses made in America, more than doubling the number of zero-emission transit buses on our roads. Despite historic levels of funding, FTA was unable to meet the demand from transit agencies eager to clean up their polluting bus fleets. FTA is bound by stringent guidelines that include a Congressional requirement for the Low- and No-Emission bus grants that a quarter of the funding allocations must go to fossil fuel buses.
“We’re witnessing a major and long-overdue moment of opportunity to roll out cleaner buses on our roads. Transit agencies across the country are eager for funding to clean up their fleets, as we’ve seen from the high demand for these grants,” said Eric Willadsen, Campaign Representative with the Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign. “Residents across the country can benefit from cleaner air and reduced climate pollution; however, arbitrary caps on how funding can be distributed are a major barrier to maximizing community benefits from zero-emission buses.”
“When we talk about equity in the transition to electrification, a huge part of that is electrifying our public transit systems,” said Dustyn Thompson, Director of Sierra Club Delaware. “Delaware is poised to pass a number of clean transit bills this year, but this investment from the federal government is absolutely critical in helping us achieve our equity goals. Not everyone wants or needs a car to get around, but that doesn't mean they shouldn’t have access to clean transit options.”
“We’re thrilled to see New Jersey Transit receive the much needed funding to modernize the Hilton Bus Garage to get it ready for zero-emission buses,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, Director of Sierra Club New Jersey. “Our state is plagued with pollution from heavy-duty vehicles. This upgrade — alongside other clean transportation programs that are moving forward— will have a real impact on the well-being of New Jerseyans, particularly of those in communities overburdened with diesel emissions.”
“Albuquerque’s transit system is receiving more than $18 million to dump its dirty diesel buses and invest in zero-emission buses and charging, in addition to improving bus service in general. Healthier air to breathe and less noise on fare-free buses — it’s all great news for Albuquerque,” said Camilla Feibelman, Director of Sierra Club New Mexico.
“Charlotte alone is receiving almost $31 million to get cleaner buses on roads and support training to educate workers on the new technology,” said Cynthia Satterfield, Director of Sierra Club North Carolina. “Charlotte is a sprawling city where the majority of residents own cars; this investment in making our transit system more reliable and pollution-free will go a long way for clean air and climate.”
“The Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club thanks the Biden-Harris administration for the second installment of support that’s keeping Knoxville Area Transit on track for all our buses to be fully electric by 2030,” said Kent Minault, Chair of the Transportation Committee of Sierra Club Tennessee. “It's been under two years since we welcomed the first electric bus, and now the overhead chargers from FTA’s Bus Facilities Program will open the way to completing our transition to a fully electric transit fleet. A really exciting development for Knoxville and East Tennessee!”
“Following a multi-year year campaign by Sierra Club and allies urging WMATA for a swifter transition to a zero-emission bus fleet, WMATA recently announced plans to accelerate its transition to a clean bus fleet three years ahead of schedule,” said Cheri Conca, Transportation and Smart Growth Program Manager with Sierra Club Virginia. “We are excited to hear that the transit authority has been awarded $104 million to fully electrify its Lorton, Virginia, facility, including funding for workforce development training for bus operators, mechanics, and first responders.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.