Saturday, July 13, 2024

SporTran Awarded Over $11 Million for New, Made-in-America Bus Fleet

by BIZ Magazine

Shreveport, LA – On Tuesday, July 9, 2024, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that SporTran has been awarded $11,169,846 in public transit funding as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This substantial grant will support SporTran’s “Low-No Emissions” initiative, facilitating the replacement of older buses with modern, low-emission models.

The new funding will enable SporTran to purchase approximately 40 new 35-foot and 40-foot low-emission Gillig coaches. These state-of-the-art buses will reduce maintenance costs, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance the reliability and timeliness crucial for maintaining and growing ridership.

Commitment to Innovation and Sustainability

Dinero’ Washington, CEO of SporTran, expressed pride in the agency’s national recognition. “My staff and I are so pleased to be recognized nationally for our rider-focused approach, our vision for the next generation of public transit, and our proven track record as diligent stewards of public dollars,” Washington said.

Washington highlighted the unique challenges faced by Shreveport and Bossier City, noting the lack of municipal transit bonds to fund local public transportation. “Therefore, SporTran spends a considerable amount of time and effort exploring alternative funding avenues,” he explained. The newly awarded grant will not only enable the acquisition of clean energy buses but also incorporate the latest technology, including improved operator communications, pinpoint GTFS feed accuracy, and safety upgrades to maximize the rider experience.

Federal Support for Modernizing Transit

The FTA’s funding announcement is part of a larger initiative to modernize public transportation across the United States. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized the importance of these investments, stating, “The Biden-Harris Administration is helping agencies replace old buses running on dirtier, expensive fuels by delivering modern and zero-emission buses, manufactured by American workers, that will connect more people to where they need to go.”

Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi added, “Investing in low-emission and no-emission transit buses has emerged as a transformational pillar of President Biden’s transportation emissions reductions strategy. By modernizing transit with improved clean energy technologies, we will also boost the longevity of our mass transportation system, reduce traffic congestion, and clean up the air we breathe in the neighborhoods and communities that line our roads and highways.”

Economic and Environmental Benefits

The FTA’s announcement detailed that approximately $1.5 billion in funding will support 117 projects across 47 states. This initiative is projected to modernize transit buses, improve public transportation, and advance climate goals. In the past three years, nearly $5 billion has been awarded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to replace and modernize transit buses, resulting in the production of over 4,600 new buses by U.S. factories.

The prioritization of standardized bus models without customization is expected to shorten manufacturing timelines and contain costs. This approach encourages lower costs and accelerated vehicle delivery, resulting in more American-built buses hitting the roads faster.

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