Vice President Harris Unveils Grants for Clean Public Transport  

March 7, 2022 by Reece Nations
<strong>Vice President Harris Unveils Grants for Clean Public Transport  </strong>

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Monday the availability of roughly $1.47 billion in competitive grant funds aimed at transitioning public transportation fleets and facilities to clean energy.

Harris made remarks on the clean transit push during a joint event with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. The transition will be funded by leveraging investments from the bipartisan infrastructure law and the American Rescue Plan, both of which earmarked funds for clean energy programs.

“These grants will make public transit more reliable and more affordable, which, of course, means shorter waits and more reliable commutes for folks who need to take public transit to get where they need to go,” Harris said during the event. “These buses will be built in America. And these grants will also be used to train drivers and mechanics to operate, maintain and repair this new technology. This investment will create good jobs — jobs of the future.”

The grants are the first Federal Transit Administration competitive grant opportunities to come under the bipartisan infrastructure law, which The Well News previously reported was signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021. The event coincided with the opening of applications for the FTA’s grant programs.

The FTA’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program makes funding available to help transit agencies obtain domestically built public transport vehicles that emit “low or no” emissions. The law provides $5.5 billion over five years for the program. Similarly, the transit administration’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program allocates $2 billion over five years to help transit agencies purchase and retrofit various transit vehicles in addition to building new bus facilities.

“Essential public transit workers have been on the front lines of the pandemic for two years, keeping our economy moving and helping Americans get where they need to go,” Buttigieg said in a written statement. “This additional funding from the American Rescue Plan is helping communities across the country keep transit workers on the job and keep their trains and buses running.”

About $1.1 billion and $372 million in grants will be up for grabs this fiscal year for the low emissions and bus facilities programs, respectively, according to the FTA. Additionally, 5% of each grant under the “low or no” program must be used for workforce development and training as part of the transit administration’s efforts to help transit workers prepare for technological advancements.

Grant applicants are encouraged to provide information on how their proposed project will reinforce the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of federal investment benefits in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. Applications for the grants opened on Monday and will close on May 31.

“Manufacturing thousands of new, American-built buses will create jobs all over our nation, offering cleaner, faster and safer rides as we move toward a better transportation future,” FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez said in a written statement. “When transit agencies are applying for these grants, they will propose projects that address climate change, improve air quality, open new opportunities and include workforce training to help workers transition to operating and maintaining these new, clean energy fleets.”

Harris also noted in her remarks that in addition to the grants announced on Monday, the Department of Transportation will also allocate $2.2 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan to 35 transit agencies spread across 18 states. This complementary funding is aimed at helping public transportation agencies cover expenses related to day-to-day operations and retain employees.

Interested parties can find instructions on how to apply for the grants on the FTA website and on grants.gov.

“Our transportation sector has reached a turning point,” Harris said. “We are all in the midst of a turning point. We have the technology to transition to a zero-emission fleet. Our administration — together, all of us — is working to make that possibility a reality.” 

Reece can be reached at [email protected]

A+
a-
  • Kamala Harris
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • public transit
  • Transportation
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Renewable Energy

    February 27, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Energy Department to Award $366M to Projects in Tribal, Rural Communities

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday announced it is awarding $366 million to 17 projects intended to... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday announced it is awarding $366 million to 17 projects intended to bring power and much-needed clean energy upgrades to rural and remote areas across the country. Of the projects, a dozen will be undertaken on tribal lands... Read More

    February 22, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    EPA, Energy Dept. Announce Availability of $9.4M in Funding for Biofuel Projects

    WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy are making $9.4 million available to support “high... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy are making $9.4 million available to support “high impact” technology projects in the advanced biofuels space. The funding is being made available through the Inflation Reduction Act and will be administered by the Energy... Read More

    February 20, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    EPA Issues Permit Advancing Offshore Wind Project in New York

    WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency granted a Clean Air Act permit to New York’s Empire Offshore Wind project, a... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency granted a Clean Air Act permit to New York’s Empire Offshore Wind project, a critical step in advancing the development of the massive wind farm off the Long Island coast. The EPA issued the permit to project owner Equinor on... Read More

    February 13, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Feds Designate Two Massive Areas for Wind Farm Development Off Oregon Coast

    WASHINGTON— The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Monday announced it has designated two large swaths of sea off the... Read More

    WASHINGTON— The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Monday announced it has designated two large swaths of sea off the Oregon coast as ripe for wind energy development. The two areas total roughly 195,012 acres, and according to the agency, “avoid 98% of the areas recommended... Read More

    February 12, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Energy Dept. to Invest $4.75M in National Center for Offshore Wind

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy is investing $4.75 million to establish a new national center of excellence to accelerate... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy is investing $4.75 million to establish a new national center of excellence to accelerate the development of “reliable and equitable” offshore wind power in the United States. The Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind will be led... Read More

    February 12, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Survey Finds Public Broadly Supports Biden’s Wind Energy Goals

    WASHINGTON — A recent survey shows that large swaths of the public support President Joe Biden’s offshore wind and renewable... Read More

    WASHINGTON — A recent survey shows that large swaths of the public support President Joe Biden’s offshore wind and renewable agenda, but they nevertheless continue to knock him on job performance. The survey of 2,038 adults in U.S. coastal counties was conducted late last year by... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top