Patty Murray

07/09/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/09/2024 18:30

Murray, Cantwell, Larsen Announce Over $47 Million for Low and No Emission, Local Transit Agencies Across WA State From Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (D, WA-02), Ranking Member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, announced over $47 million in federal funding for six local transit systems across Washington state to purchase new low- and zero-emission buses-including battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses, to replace diesel-powered buses-as well as help upgrade bus facilities and invest in worker training.

The funding for six local transit systems is being distributed via two grant programs at the Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA): the Low- or No-Emission Grant Program, which helps transit agencies buy or lease U.S.-built zero-emission and low-emission transit buses along with charging equipment and supporting facilities, and the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, which supports transit agencies in buying and rehabilitating buses and vans and building bus facilities. These programs were funded in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law both Murray and Cantwell were instrumental in passing. In Fiscal Year 2024, $1.1 billion was provided for the Low- or No-Emission Grant Program and $390 million for the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. In total, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided more than $7.5 billion over five years for these programs to help transit agencies replace aging fleets, improve reliability, and reduce harmful emissions. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also included Senator Murray's Clean School Bus Act, which provided $5 billion in funding for low- and zero-emission school buses and has, so far, awarded almost $3 billion to fund approximately 8,500 school bus replacements at over 1,000 schools.

In Washington state, the following awards were announced:

$14,959,971 for Island Transit on Whidbey Island to buy hydrogen fuel cell buses, which will replace diesel buses on Whidbey Island. This project will advance Island Transit's plan to transition their entire fixed-route fleet to zero-emission vehicles on both Whidbey and Camano Islands. The award comes through FTA's Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"With nearly $15 million coming to Island Transit from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for clean, hydrogen fuel cell buses, folks on Whidbey Island will be breathing cleaner, less polluted air-that really matters," said Senator Murray. "Clean buses are a huge improvement over diesel buses-they're better for the environment, better for public health, and they save local transit agencies money on fuel. This is a big win for Island County, and I'm proud to have helped make it happen."

"Island Transit operates in a unique rural environment serving residents of Whidbey and Camano Island. This funding will be used to purchase 12 new hydrogen fuel cell buses that will help advance Island Transit's zero-emission goals while providing cleaner and more efficient public transit options for residents," said Senator Cantwell.

"Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Island Transit has the funding it needs to purchase clean buses and fueling infrastructure for its fleet, enabling more people to get to and from jobs, school, the store and recreation opportunities in Island County," said Rep. Larsen, the lead Democrat on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. "The BIL continues to create jobs and invest in cleaner, greener, safer and more accessible transportation for communities in Northwest Washington and across the country."

$6,680,083 for King County Metro Transit in Seattle to buy battery electric buses and continue its worker training to maintain the new fleet. This project furthers Metro's plan to transition to a fully zero-emission fleet by 2035, powered by Seattle City Light's renewable energy. The award comes through FTA's Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"I'm thrilled that King County Metro will receive nearly $7 million to buy new electric buses and invest in worker training to maintain its new fleet," said Senator Murray. "This funding will get King County Metro closer to their goal of a fully zero-emission fleet by 2035, and will mean cleaner air for commuters and folks everywhere in King County. I pushed hard to make sure the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included major investments in zero-emissions buses, and this announcement is another exciting step forward."

"As the largest transit agency in the Northwest, King County Metro has been a leader in providing safe and sustainable transportation to a growing population. With this funding, King County Metro will purchase five electric buses and train workers on electric bus maintenance to help modernize our transit system, reduce emissions, and support our commitment to a cleaner, healthier future for our community," said Senator Cantwell.

$4,462,500 for Link Transit in Chelan and Douglas Counties to buy battery electric buses, replacing gas-powered buses that have exceeded their useful life. The new buses will be more reliable and easier to maintain, lower fueling costs, reduce air pollution, and improve service throughout North Central Washington. The award comes through FTA's Low- or No-Emission Grant Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"It's exciting to see over $4 million heading Chelan and Douglas counties to replace old diesel buses with new electric models-reducing pollution, lowering fuel costs, and improving service for folks who rely on our bus system to get them where they need to go," said Senator Murray. "Electric buses are truly a win-win-that's why I fought to fund these programs when we were passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and am working hard to make sure Washington state gets its fair share of funding."

"As Chelan and Douglas Counties' population and employment rates continue to grow, upgrading our public transportation infrastructure for the future is critical. This investment to purchase five electric buses to replace old gas shuttles underscores our commitment to clean energy and provides our community with modern, environmentally friendly transit options," said Senator Cantwell.

$3,655,000 for the Clallam Transit System in Port Angeles to buy buses to replace heavy-duty buses that have surpassed their useful life. The new vehicles, including several for the agency's paratransit fleet, will be more efficient and reliable. The award comes through FTA's Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"This funding will help Clallam Transit to replace old buses that shouldn't be on the roads anymore, and invest in new and more efficient vehicles to the tune of $3.6 million. Folks in Clallam County deserve reliable public transit, including buses, and I'm glad the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law we worked hard to pass will deliver new funding to help make that possible," said Senator Murray.

"As Clallam Transit's ridership continues to expand, we need to ensure its fleet can accommodate the growth. This funding to purchase five new buses and five new paratransit vehicles will upgrade the agency's aging fleet while also providing more safe and efficient transportation options for Clallam County residents with disabilities," said Senator Cantwell.

$14,784,753 for Pierce Transit in Pierce County to buy new battery electric buses and install new charging equipment. This project will improve efficiency and help facilitate expansion of Pierce Transit's zero-emission fleet. The award comes through FTA's Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"I'm excited to announce nearly $15 million for Pierce Transit to get new electric buses and expand its charging infrastructure-this is a huge deal for Pierce Transit and everyone who calls Pierce County home," said Senator Murray. "This funding will go a long way toward helping Pierce Transit expand its zero-emission fleet and will mean cleaner air for commuters, lower fuel costs for Pierce Transit, and a more sustainable bus fleet. I worked hard to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including pushing for major investments in clean buses, because I knew it would deliver in a big way for every community in Washington state-that's what we're seeing today."

"Pierce Transit is on a mission to electrify its fleet, and this funding will go a long way toward helping the agency reach its zero-emission goals. With this funding, Pierce Transit will purchase four electric buses and charging infrastructure that will help modernize the fleet, extend the lifespan of the new buses, and enhance the ridership experience while reducing our carbon footprint," said Senator Cantwell.

$2,639,564 for Grays Harbor Transit to renovate an aging maintenance and operations facility in Hoquiam, WA. Improvements will include upgrading parking areas, installing new surfacing, and enhancing the roof. The award comes through FTA's Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"This new funding I'm proud to announce will help Grays Harbor Transit renovate its maintenance and operations facility in Hoquiam, which is in need of repairs-this is exactly why we passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and why I'm continuing to work to make sure those dollars get out to every corner of our state," said Senator Murray. "This grant will help make sure employees have a safe place to work every day and ensure the agency can better serve residents of Grays Harbor."

"As Grays Harbor Transit's fleet continues to age, upgrading maintenance infrastructure is necessary to extend the useful life of current and future buses. This funding will modernize the agency's operations and maintenance infrastructure, ensuring a more safe and efficient facility for years to come," said Senator Cantwell.