Skip to content

Biden Transportation Department Grants $1.7 Billion for Electric and Low-Emission Buses in 46 US States and Territories

Biden Transportation Department Grants .7 Billion for Electric and Low-Emission Buses in 46 US States and Territories

The U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) is awarding grants for new electric and low-emission buses in 46 U.S. states and territories for a total of about $1.7 billion.

Funding for these zero- and low-emission buses comes through the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA); a $1.2 trillion bill that includes funding for public transit programs. President Joe Biden has made the IIJA a key component of his “Build Back Better” agenda, and his administration has prioritized placing more electric vehicles on the road.

In all, the $1.7 billion worth of grants will cover the cost of 1,700 U.S.-built buses. Nearly half of the new buses will produce zero-carbon emissions from their operation.

“Every day, millions of Americans climb aboard over 60,000 buses to get to work, to school, doctor’s appointments, everywhere they need to be,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said of the new bus grants. “These are unprecedented levels of investment when it comes to putting modern, cleaner buses on the road.”

The $1.7 billion worth of grants cover the second round of funding for buses and their supporting infrastructure under the IIJA. The U.S. taxpayer has covered $3.3 billion in low-emission bus projects so far under the IIJA. Government officials expect to award roughly $5 billion more over the next three years.

The Biden administration said that the zero- and low-emission buses would improve public health by cutting down on the diesel exhaust common with fossil-fuel buses. The administration said the new buses will also be easier to maintain.

Republicans who opposed the IIJA during its passage criticized the infrastructure bill as being too expensive while paying large amounts for less traditional forms of infrastructure like tens of billions of dollars to expand broadband access to poor and rural families.

A few progressive Democrats opposed the bill, arguing that it was too small and its passage would divert support for a more expansive proposal.

A Chicago Transit Authority electric bus charges at Navy Pier in Chicago on Feb. 14, 2023. (Erin Hooley/AP Photo)

Where Grants Are Going

The Transportation Department received requests for IIJA grants through 475 project proposals totaling $8.7 billion. The Transportation Department ultimately awarded grants to only 130 projects, but the 475 requests demonstrate that many localities are eager to tap into the substantial funding source.

The projects were granted in states across the country, including Alabama, California, Florida, and Hawaii.

Projects were also awarded in the District of Columbia and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The Seneca Nation of Indians was also among the grant recipients and will receive about $5.9 million to replace a bus maintenance facility.

The District of Columbia received the largest grant award with $104 million to convert its Cinder Bed Road Bus Garage into a fully battery-electric bus facility and buy an unspecified number of battery-electric buses.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit system in Dallas, Texas received the second largest grant of $103 million to replace an unspecified number of its older buses with new buses that run on compressed natural gas.

A $33.5 million grant will buy 30 electric battery buses and chargers for the Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue area of Washington.

A $24 million grant will cover 13 battery-electric buses, charging equipment, utility upgrades, and worker training for Alexandria, Virginia.

The smallest grant was awarded to the Oregon Department of Transportation on behalf of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council. That $181,250 will pay for an unspecified number of hybrid-electric vehicles for the Central Oregon transit fleet.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

From NTD News

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *