Thirty-seven million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually! That is how much would be saved if Washington, DC, New York City, Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles stopped using electricity! While that is not likely to happen anytime soon, according to the American Public Transportation Association, 37 million metric tons of CO2 emissions is also the amount public transportation saves us each year. While that is an impressive statistic, The Federal Transit Administration is offering a Low or No Emission Bus Grant Program to help our transit system do even better; this program's ambitious objective is to turn our bus fleet into the greenest and cleanest in the world.
The Federal Transit Administration
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its headquarters are in Washington, DC, and it has 10 regional offices throughout the United States. Since 1964, it has provided over $12 billion per year to state and local governments to maintain and expand various modes of public transportation, including light rail, buses, trollies, ferries and more. While we can thank The FTA for iconic subways and elevated rail systems in major cities, they have also helped extend public transportation to small cities and rural communities where it was previously lacking.
The Low or No Emission Bus Grant Program
Established under the FAST ACT, $55 million per year is available until fiscal year 2020 for the Low or No Emission Bus Grant Program. Funding supports the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses and supporting facilities, such as recharging, refueling and maintenance facilities. A low-or-no emission bus is defined as a passenger vehicle used in public transportation that significantly uses less energy or emits less pollution including CO2 than a standard bus, such as hydrogen fuel-cell buses and battery-electric buses. Eligible activities include:
- Purchasing or leasing low-or-no emission buses
- Acquiring buses with a leased power source
- Building or leasing facilities and equipment for the buses
- Building new facilities to accommodate them
- Rehabilitating or improving existing facilities to accommodate them
Applying for the Low or Now Emission Bus Grant Program
Eligible applicants are Native American tribes, state and local governments, designated recipients of awards from the funding agency under the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula program. Apply by June 26, 2017. The resource page has grantee tools and pre-recorded pre-application webinars.