U.S. Issuing $1.66 Billion in Grants for Zero-Emission Buses

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
u s issuing 1 66 billion in grants for zero emission busses

On Tuesday, The Department of Transportation announced that it was prepping $1.66 billion in grants so that cities can purchase zero-emission buses. Headed by the Federal Transit Administration, the program is aimed at getting 1,800 new vehicles into metropolitan areas – which the White House claimed would effectively double the number of electrified buses currently in operation. Though a portion of the funds will be earmarked for buying up public transportation reliant on hybrid-electric, natural gas, and diesel powertrains.

The money stems from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Joe Biden signed in November of 2021 – which included numerous provisions that certain investments prioritize concepts like equity, public safety, and the always popular “climate change mitigation.” All are said to come together here since the money is supposed to go primarily to cities that saw public transit use plummet during the government-endorsed lockdowns witnessed throughout the pandemic.

"These grants are going to be used in every corner of this country," White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the nation’s largest and most used public transit system, will receive $116 million to buy about 230 electric buses to replace older diesel ones. This will reportedly make roughly 4 percent of its 5,800-bus fleet electric.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will receive $104.1 million to procure roughly 160 electric buses. Those will be replacing compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will be issued $116 million in grants to swap out 85 diesel people movers for new electric models. Most other municipalities will see far less financial help, sometimes just enough for a single bus. Though several cities are getting special grants to upgrade bus terminals or maintenance facilities. The same goes for select tribal reservations with little-to-no transit infrastructure to speak of.

But most places that applied for the grants will receive nothing. The Federal Transit Administration reported that it had received over 500 grant applications totaling nearly $8 billion. However, only 150 of those were approved.

That could change in the future, as the infrastructure law provides $5.5 billion over five years for federal bus grants. That’s six times the funding witnessed prior to the Biden administration’s sweeping infrastructure bill and allocates $2 billion for maintaining/upgrading older buses, bus stations, and maintenance facilities. But it’s still going to be years before any major city is running EV-dominated fleets.

[Image: Steve Sanchez Photos/Shutterstock]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Join the conversation
4 of 28 comments
  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Aug 18, 2022

    In NY in order to run a marijuana business you have to show your previous criminal record as a drug dealer or user. Because rewarding criminal behavior is the best way to reduce crime.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 18, 2022

      Man, I thought you weree trolling but this is actually a thing.

  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Aug 18, 2022

    Nope, and NY isn't the only state to have this policy. It goes well with their no bail policy. Really cleaning up the streets.

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Aug 23, 2022

      So this is how great civilizations die! 🙄🙄

  • MichaelBug For me, two issues in particular:1. It can be difficult for me to maintain my lane on a rainy night. Here in southeastern PA, PennDOT's lane markings aren't very reflective. They can be almost impossible to make out when wet.2. Backing out of a parking space in a lot with heavy pedestrian traffic. Oftentimes people will walk right into my blind spot even if I am creeping back with my 4-way flashers blinking. (No backup camera in my '11 Toyota Camry.)Michael B 🙂
  • Tagbert When you publish series like this, could you include links to the previous articles in the series so that we can follow through? Thank you. Edit: now I see a link embedded in the first paragraph that goes to the previous story. It wasn’t clear at first where that link went but now I understand.
  • DungBeetle62 When you're in one of these, you life in a state of constant low-level nervous about 90% of the time. But that other 10% kinda makes up for it.
  • Garrett Instead of foisting this problem on the car companies and the people who buy cars, make those who possess liquor licenses and those who purchase alcohol take on the economic cost of this problem.
  • Inside Looking Out Thieves are gradually winning the war with law enforcement in America not only in California and that is the tragic fact. They would rather put in jail police officer than thief.