DOT awards grants for biodiesel buses

By Erin Voegele | November 21, 2011

The U.S. Department of Transportation is funding 46 innovative transit projects aimed at helping reduce the nation’s dependence on oil while creating a marketplace for green jobs. On Nov. 17, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that these projects will share a combined $112 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration.

“These grants will put thousands of Americans back to work building sustainable, energy-efficient transit vehicles and facilities across the country,” said LaHood. “The Obama Administration is committed to investing in the cutting-edge transportation projects that will keep our economy moving forward.”

According to the DOT, the 46 projects identified for funding were selected through the FTA’s competitive Fiscal Year 2011 Sustainability Initiative, which includes funding sourced from FTA’s Clean Fuels Grant Program and the FTA’s Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction Grant Program.

Information released by the DOT shows three biodiesel projects will receive funding through this round of grants under the Clean Fuels Program, including:

- The city of Gainesville, Fla., has been awarded $3 million to produce high-efficiency biodiesel buses and electric cooling system conversions for existing biodiesel buses

- The Intercity Transit in Thurston County, Wash., has been awarded $1.5 million to purchase hybrid biodiesel-electric replacement buses

- The city of Longview, Wash., has been awarded $1.1205 million to purchase 35-foot clean fuel biodiesel buses

According to the DOT, projects that received funding through the Clean Fuels Grant program were selected competitively based on the project’s ability to help communities achieve or maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide while supporting emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses.

“The Federal Transit Administration is tapping into American innovation and ingenuity to develop and build leading-edge, energy-efficient transportation technologies,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “These continued investments help combat the pain commuters feel at the gas pump and curb the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that pollute the air we breathe.”

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