Oceanside, Calif.-based North County Transit District's BREEZE bus system received a $4,621,860 grant from the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) "State of Good Repair" (SOGR) competitive grant program.
The SOGR grant requires a 20% match, or $1,155,465 million in local TRANSNET funding. The SOGR grant funding totals $5,777,325 million, which will enable NCTD to purchase up to 12 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, replacing 12 older diesel coaches.
Historically, NCTD would replace about 15 buses, or 10% of its fleet annually. The last time NCTD replaced buses was 2010 when 24 diesel buses were replaced with smaller cutaway van conversion buses. Prior to that, the last full-sized bus purchase was in 2007 when 12 full-sized diesel buses were replaced with full-sized CNG buses.
NCTD reports that each of the soon to be replaced older buses have had at least one engine and one transmission overhaul, and would otherwise require another engine and transmission overhaul in the next 12 months if kept in the active BREEZE fleet.
BREEZE passengers will likely see the new buses rolling down North County streets by late 2012.