MARTA getting $19 million in federal grants to buy electric buses, charging equipment

White House announces $1.6 billion in grants to transit agencies across the nation
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 9:21 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 9:26 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - MARTA is receiving more than $19 million to buy electric buses and charging equipment under a series of grants announced by the White House Tuesday morning.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states across the nation to invest in 150 bus fleets and facilities.

Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the White House said more than 1,100 of those vehicles will use zero-emissions technology, which reduces air pollution and helps meet President Joe Biden’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

MARTA’s allotment of $19,302,650 in grants will be used to replace older buses. The White House said the project will improve air quality in metro Atlanta and bolster the transit workforce by supporting a two-year apprenticeship program and collaborations with local technical colleges.

“With today’s awards, we’re helping communities across America – in cities, suburbs, and rural areas alike – purchase more than 1,800 new buses, and most of them are zero-emission,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this announcement means more good jobs for people across the country, cleaner air in our communities, and more affordable and reliable options to help people get to where they need to go.”

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. The programs, according to the White House, are designed to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expand the nation’s transportation infrastructure, create and maintain good-paying jobs, and fight climate change.

Other projects funded under the grants announced Tuesday include:

  • The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which will receive $116 million to buy approximately 230 battery-electric buses to replace older diesel buses, electrifying nearly four percent of its 5,800-bus fleet and launching a comprehensive workforce training and development program.
  • The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which will receive $104.1 million to buy approximately 160 battery-electric buses to replace older compressed natural gas buses as well as charging equipment.
  • The Memphis Area Transit Authority, which will receive $54 million to build an operations and maintenance facility. The facility, which will be located in Memphis, will accommodate more than 300 vehicles.

Earlier this year, MARTA launched its first group of electric buses on Earth Day. Those buses were purchased with federal funding awarded back in 2019.

In Georgia, the Augusta transit system will received $6.2 million to buy electric buses, while in Savannah, the Chatham Area Transit Authority will receive $5.4 million, also to purchase electric buses and charging equipment.