The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday announced $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states across the country to invest in 150 bus fleets and facilities. Missouri will receive more than $8 million for electric vehicle acquisitions for two Missouri providers.
The bus grant awards – made under FTA’s Buses and Bus Facilities and Low- and No-Emission Vehicle programs – are FTA’s first competitive grant selections under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. More than 1,100 of those vehicles will use zero-emissions technology, which reduces air pollution and helps meet the President’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. This year’s funding alone will nearly double the number of no-emission transit buses on America’s roadways. For the first time, five percent of low- and no-emission bus funding will be used to train transit workers on how to maintain and operate new clean bus technology.
Bi-State Development, which operates St. Louis Metro, will receive $5,412,960 in funding to buy battery-electric buses to replace diesel buses that have reached the end of their useful life. The project includes upgrading the agency’s Metro’s DeBaliviere Bus Facility with charging equipment, which will improve health and quality of life for nearby residents. Metro owns 24 battery electric buses that are in service in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County, with overnight charging taking place at the Brentwood MetroBus facility in St. Louis County. Fourteen 60-foot battery electric buses currently operate on the #70 Grand in St. Louis, which is Metro’s busiest bus route in the region. Ten 40-foot battery electric buses operate on various routes in St. Louis and in St. Louis County.
All new vehicles purchased for the battery electric bus fleet are zero-emission buses funded through various FTA grants (70-80%) and local sales tax sources (20-30%) and all offer similar cost savings and environmental benefits. The combination of the two federal grant awards and local matches could support the purchase of up to 12 new 40-foot battery electric buses and the charging infrastructure at the DeBaliviere MetroBus facility. Metro launched 18 of the battery electric buses into service in June 2021 in what was one of the largest initial electric bus deployments in the nation.
The City of Columbia will receive $2,896,675 in funding to buy battery-electric buses and charging equipment for its GoCOMO transit fleet. By adding these advanced technology buses, the city will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and develop the skills among its staff to enable future expansion of zero-emission buses.