Amid Climate Change Push, DOT Offers $55M for Green Buses

The money will go toward low- or no-emission buses for public agencies.

by / March 30, 2016

The U.S. Federal Transit Administration is offering local government $55 million to buy greener buses.

The Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program, also known as “LoNo,” will provide the money to local cities and transit authorities to buy or lease greener buses, as well as build out the infrastructure necessary to support those buses. In the case of battery-electric buses, that might mean recharging stations, and special refueling stations for hydrogen fuel cell buses.

The grant is not new — it has funded green bus purchases from Southern California to New England — but it does come amid a renewed effort from the U.S. Department of Administration to cut carbon emissions from the transportation sector. As part of its pending 2017 budget proposal, the department is seeking to launch a $20 billion-per-year Clean Transportation Plan to go along with the White House’s Clean Power Plan. Together with a controversial oil tax, the plan would fund infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles and the development of autonomous vehicles.

According to a statement from the FTA, transportation accounts for about 27 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Transit buses are a lifeline to opportunity for countless Americans, but too often these buses are outdated and unreliable,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in the statement. “As demand for transit grows and our nation’s population continues to expand, these much-needed funds will help bring communities the latest technologies to strengthen and improve their bus infrastructure.”