Port Huron, Mich.-based Blue Water Area Transit (BWAT) was awarded $1.3 million in funding in two grants from the Federal Transit Administration’s Clean Fuels Grant Program, which promotes the use of clean fuels to help maintain air quality standards.
Both grants will support the expansion of local resources for fueling buses with compressed natural gas (CNG). Added improvements include portable CNG refueling stations to serve remote areas in the county and a new CNG compressor to replace the agency’s oldest compressor.
“This is a wonderful use of federal dollars to expand the local infrastructure that helps us improve air quality,” explained Linda Bruckner, Blue Water Area Transportation Commission Board vice chair and Fort Gratiot Township trustee. “This focus on several isolated pockets will allow us to better serve the whole county.”
BWAT is Michigan’s largest producer of CNG and runs the largest fleet of alternative fuel buses in the state.
The FTA awarded 36 Clean Fuels grants to 35 urban and rural transit providers throughout the country, for a total of $90 million. Only one additional Michigan provider received funding. Recipients were chosen through a competitive selection process based on ability to help communities maintain national air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide while supporting clean fuel technologies. BWAT is the only transit agency nationwide to have two projects selected for funding.
Last year, CNG refueling resources were made available to the general public.
Earth-friendly CNG vehicles may be refueled at BWAT headquarters, located in Port Huron.