The US government, through its department of transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA), has announced the availability of around $1.5 billion USD to support American transit vehicle manufacturing.
The funding will go towards zero-emissions buses, alongside helping to build bus facilities and promote workforce development.
The funding comes courtesy of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as part of his Investing in America agenda, with the funding to help transit agencies replace ageing buses, reduce air pollution, provide good-paying jobs and improve the reliability of transit systems.
“More funding for buses means less traffic congestion on the road, less pollution in the air, and more jobs for American workers,” US transportation secretary Pete Buttgieg says.
“Thanks to the President’s infrastructure law, we are bringing thousands of new, clean buses to communities large and small across the country.”
The funding announcement comes just a week after the White House held an industry-wide roundtable on clean bus manufacturing.
On February 7, around 60 representatives from US transit agencies, bus manufacturers, component suppliers, labour unions, federal agencies and other stakeholders convened to discuss the clean transit funding.
Now, the FTA’s low or no emission program will help transit agencies buy or lease US-built zero-emissions and low-emissions transit buses, along with charging equipment and supporting facilities.
“Buying new buses, including many vehicles that use new technology to cut carbon pollution, will promote cleaner, faster, and safer rides as we move toward a better future,” FTA administrator Nuria Fernandez says.
“FTA is also providing solutions to reduce bus costs, shorten production timelines and maintain domestic manufacturing capacity as transit agencies procure buses.”
FTA’s bus funding represents the third bus grant package since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which has invested more than $3.3 billion USD in American transit buses and the infrastructure that supports them.
Over the next three years, record funding for American transit investment secured under President Biden’s leadership will provide almost $5 billion more for bus programs.
As part of the funding, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority was awarded $104 million USD to convert its Lorton bus garage to a fully electric facility as well as buy electric buses and train a workforce to operate them.
King County Metro Transit in Seattle, Washington received $33.5 million USD to buy buses and charging equipment, while the Ohio Department of Transportation was awarded $29.3 million USD to help 10 transit agencies buy low or zero-emissions buses to replace older vehicles.
Finally, the White Earth Reservation Business Committee also received $723,171 USD to buy low-emissions buses to replace older vehicles.