RACINE – The City of Racine on Tuesday received notice that it has been awarded $3,183,723 from the Federal Transit Authority’s (FTA) Low or No Emission Vehicle Program (“Low-No Program”) to purchase three additional electric buses. Racine is the only Wisconsin city to receive an allocation and among only 41 transit jurisdictions nationwide to receive this funding.
In November 2018, the city received $6,190,906.00 from the Volkswagen Transit Capital Assistance Grant Program, which funded the purchase of six electric buses and the related infrastructure. This latest FTA grant will increase the total electric bus fleet to nine vehicles.
The new electric buses will replace diesel-powered buses that are 16 years old and have 500,000 miles apiece, according to a news release. City officials applied for the funding from $130 million in FTA Low-No Program grants for fiscal 2020. The proposal was due in mid-March.
“As a City, we want to be a leader on moving from outdated, and carbon-heavy diesel buses, to new carbon-friendly electric buses. As mayor, I am committed to lowering the city’s carbon footprint, but this also makes good fiscal sense for the city. The awards from both the FTA and from the VW program help the City avoid capital borrowing and, in the long-term, electric buses yield substantial savings on gas costs,” Mayor Cory Mason said in a news release.
According to the FTA, the main purpose of the Low-No Program is to support the transition of the nation’s transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy-efficient transit vehicles. The Low-No Program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities