DOT to Spend $1.7b on Electric Buses

Federal and state authorities are investing heavily in electric vehicles.

Source : Wikimedia Commons

July 4, 2023

Author : Alex Bustillos

With a gasoline powered transportation system and growing environmental concerns, the Biden-Harris administration is pushing to adopt electric buses nationwide.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation announced 130 grants totaling almost $1.7 billion from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Act for transit initiatives in 46 states and territories. 

This funding invests in more than 1,700 buses made in America buses. Nearly half of these buses will be zero-emission models, bringing the total number of zero-emission transit buses financed by the IIJA over the next two years to over 1,800 – and more than doubling the number of zero-emission transit buses on American roads. 

Several grant recipients have committed to purchasing standardized buses and vans and avoiding customization, resulting in quicker delivery and lower costs. 

This move was adopted to limit the negative impacts caused by climate change, leading to the prioritization of getting more electric vehicles on the road, particularly for public transportation and school transit.

Pete Buttigieg said in a press release, "Every day, millions of Americans climb aboard over 60,000 buses to get to work, to school, doctors appointments, everywhere they need to be." Buttigieg added, "

This investment is the second round of funding toward the electric vehicle program under the IIJA, totaling $3.3 billion to date. Over the next 3 years, the total funding will amount to $5 billion more.

The Biden administration claims that since there would be less diesel emission in the air and the new buses would be simpler to maintain, they would promote public health..

Thirty electric battery buses and chargers will be purchased in Seattle for $33.5 million. They will also train workers to maintain the electric fleet with the grants. With $104 million, the Washington DC Transit Authority will convert a bus garage to an electric facility and purchase about 100 electric battery buses. 

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will receive $29.3 million to help ten transit agencies serving rural and urban communities purchase dozens of low or no-emission buses and replace the older vehicles.

However, subsidies are also being given to places outside the country's largest cities, like Iowa City, Iowa, and the Seneca Nation in Western New York. Iowa will receive $23.3 million for purchasing four electric buses to replace their older diesel vehicles that exceed their useful life. 

The Seneca Nation will receive $6 million to construct a new building to serve as an operational hub for the Seneca Nation Department of Transportation and replace its outdated maintenance facility. 

Nuria Fernandez, FTA Administrator, said, "Today, we are creating new opportunities to dramatically improve the lives of millions of Americans who ride on buses every day." Fernandez added, "Thanks to the President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these grants will help deliver a cleaner and more modern mode of transportation, designed to reach everyone and to work for everyone, particularly in places that haven't received enough resources in the past."

This grant won’t just upgrade the public buses but also provide employment opportunities to millions. There would also be training programs that would train the current batch of internal combustion mechanics to become electric motor technicians of the future.

Contractor News previously reported that tech giants LG and Hyundai were investing $4.3b in building EV plants in Georgia, while state agencies across the country are investing massively into EV charging stations. 

Category : Federal Government Green Economy Green Construction Mobile Technology

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