Illinois wins grant for greener paratransit vehicles

Posted on September 29, 2009

On Friday, Illinois Transportation Sec. Gary Hannig announced that 31 paratransit buses in seven transit agencies across the state will be replaced with hybrid-electric buses to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption in Illinois. 


“We are moving in the right direction to become a greener Illinois,” said Sec. Hannig. “This $4 million boost not only reduces harmful exhaust emissions, but also creates jobs and helps build a stronger economy.”


The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) was awarded a $4 million grant in September, after submitting an application in May, from the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas & Energy Reduction (TIGGER) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The program makes $100 million available through competitive grants nationwide.


In Illinois, the funding will reduce fuel usage by a total of 100,000 gallons, reduce greenhouse emissions by a total of 871 metric tons, create and sustain 24 full-time domestic manufacturing jobs and support new opportunities for job training.


“After a very competitive process, we are very fortunate to be among the recipients of these recovery funds,” said Gene Marks, deputy director, IDOT Division of Transportation & Intermodal Transportation. “We will continue to do our part to protect the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil in Illinois.”


The 31 hybrid buses will be distributed to seven Illinois agencies, including Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, PACE Suburban Bus, Rockford Mass Transit District, Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), Springfield Mass Transit District and St. Clair County Transit District.


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