The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) selected a new round of recipients for the Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Bus Competitive Grant Program, which reflects growing interest in new technology buses. Twenty transit providers in 13 states will receive a share of $55 million for transit buses and related technology that replaces aging diesel fuel buses with battery-electric or fuel cell-powered vehicles and incorporates other innovations.

Replacing traditional buses with electricity-powered buses that generate low or no emissions lessens reliance on fossil fuel, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves operating efficiency. The selected projects represent strategic investments to help reduce air pollution, train employees in maintaining new technology buses, and connect people to jobs and services through efficient bus transit networks.

FTA awarded the FY 2016 funds after a competitive review of more than 100 applications. The grants allow agencies to acquire buses and supporting facilities and infrastructure such as maintenance facilities and recharging equipment – including new “en-route” charging that extends battery life. Many agencies also use the grants to develop knowledge in their workforces about how to operate and maintain a new generation of buses.

Among the projects selected to receive 2016 Low-No funding:

  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority of California will purchase battery electric zero-emission buses and fast-charging stations, upgrade a maintenance facility and provide workforce training on maintaining new technology buses.
  • The Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works will receive funding to purchase 40-foot electric buses, which will replace part of a fleet that now has 70% of its traditional buses operating beyond their expected useful life.
  • Park City Transit of Utah will receive funding to purchase zero-emission buses that will run on a bus rapid transit route and provide high-frequency service connecting major activity areas and giving residents and visitors a viable commuting option with cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

FTA’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Grants Program has evolved from a research and deployment program that was established under MAP-21 into an annually funded grant program. The FAST Act more than doubled the amount of funding available and moved the Low-No Program under the existing Bus and Bus Facilities Program.

For a full list of recipients, click here.