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11/21/2011 05:21 PM     print story email story  

DOT Hands Out $112 million to Green Up Nation's Transit News

The US Dept of Transportation is granting $112 million to states to help replace fleets will clean energy vehicles like hybrid buses and upgrade facilities for energy efficiency and renewable energy. 

The DOT chose 46 projects out of 266 funding requests that totaled $1 billion. Projects were chosen for their capacity to cut dependence on oil and create a marketplace for 21st century green jobs, says the Federal Transit Administration.

"These grants will put thousands of Americans back to work building sustainable, energy-efficient transit vehicles and facilities across the country," says Secretary LaHood.

Projects include:

  • South Florida Regional Transportation Authority's Tri-Rail project will receive $5.7 million to showcase its first green, LEED certified railroad stations, which will generate over 100% of the station's energy with solar panels.  

    Excess energy will be sent to the power grid and daytime energy will be stored for nighttime lighting of the station, parking area, and other parts of the facility.
  • The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will receive two grants, one for $5 million to replace diesel buses with hybrid buses, and $1.4 million to install a "wayside energy storage system" on the Market-Frankford rail line. A battery will store energy generated when trains brake. 

    Pennsylvania gets the most funding. It will use $18 million to buy hybrid buses and natural gas vehicles. 
  • The Connecticut Department of Transportation will receive $5 million to purchase a stationary fuel cell for CTTransit's New Haven Division Bus maintenance facility. The fuel cell will supply  59% of the facility's annual electric needs.
  • Clean Fuels Grant recipients were awarded based on a project's ability to help communities achieve or maintain National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide while supporting emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses.

    TIGGER III grants were competitively awarded based on the ability of projects to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while providing a return on the investment. 

    Last month, the DOT announced $928.5 million in federal funds for over 300 public transportation projects, that will put people to work renovating and building transit facilities, manufacturing clean-fuel buses, and help communities plan for their future transit needs.

    Last week, Atlanta's Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), one of the largest urban transit agencies in the US, cut the ribbon on a locally manufactured solar bus garage canopy. Funded by a $10.8 million federal grant, it's the second largest for a U.S. transit system.

    The 190,000 square-foot garage is covered by a 1.2 megawatt solar array of 4,800 solar PV  panels. The system is expected to cut the utility bill in half, saving nearly $160,000 a year. And buses parked in 220 stalls beneath the shaded canopy will need less fuel for air conditioning.

    See all the grant recipients: 


    Reader Comments (1)


    Date Posted:
    11/22/11 04:53 PM

    MARTA's $10.8 million facility saves $160,000 each year...heck it'll pay for itself in 67 years.

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