Blacksburg Transit awarded $5.15M grant to buy new electric buses, USDOT says

New River Valley News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Friday a $5.15 million grant for Blacksburg Transit to buy new electric buses and charging equipment, which will help improve service reliability and air quality for residents.

This grant is being awarded as part of a continuing effort to achieve the Biden-Harris Administration goal of a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, the USDOT said in a statement on Friday, June 25.

According to officials, this grant is one of 49 projects in 46 states and territories selected to receive a total of $182 million in funding through the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program, which funds the deployment of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses and supporting facilities.

“Public transit connects people to jobs, services, and loved ones – and when our transit buses produce low or zero emissions, it’s an even bigger win for communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “There is overwhelming demand to support low and no emission transit all around the country – in both rural and urban areas – and meeting this need is a matter of climate responsibility and public health.”

The USDOT says Blacksburg Transit will receive funds to buy battery electric buses and charging equipment to replace older diesel vehicles, furthering the transportation system’s goal to become 100 percent battery electric by 2032.

“The Federal Transit Administration is proud to partner with Blacksburg Transit to upgrade their fleet with newer, cleaner vehicles and facilities,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “These projects are all designed to take dirty buses off the road and replace them with clean, electric models, improving the air we breathe and protecting our planet for future generations.”

Officials say the FTA’s Low-No Program supports transit agencies in purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses and other transit vehicles using advanced technologies — like battery electric and fuel-cell power — to provide cleaner and more energy-efficient transit service in communities.

This year’s funding opportunity prioritized applications with an environmental justice component and applications that support workforce development, helping America’s transit workers to succeed even as changes in technology lead to changes in their jobs.

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