$22.5 million in NoLo program grants to boost drive for cleaner buses

To reduce transportation’s impact on the environment, the Federal Transit Administration announced Friday that it has allocated $22.5 million for U.S. transit agencies to procure and put into service cleaner, greener, more energy-efficient transit buses.

Under the Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (LoNo), new vehicles are required to meet higher energy-efficiency standards in an effort to skirt pollutants - such as carbon dioxide and methane - generated by transit vehicles, particularly those utilizing diesel fuel.

Vehicles funded through FTA’s LoNo program, especially those using hydrogen fuel cells or all-electric engines, would require no fossil fuels  to operate and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 55 percent.

While mass transit itself already reduces greenhouse emissions by virtue of reducing the number of cars on the road, it has been noted that communities consciously planning around transit tend to produce more environmentally-friendly patterns of housing and development.

LoNo is building on the success of the National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which awarded $90 million over seven years for research, demonstration, and deployment projects. The first round of LoNo funding, awarded last February, has already enabled 10 transit agencies nationwide to acquire green vehicle fleets, including Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, whose transit agencies were each able to purchase five battery-electric Proterra buses.

Additional advantages can be expected to include economic development, as buses purchased through LoNo are required to contain many made-in-America components, creating jobs and investment in a growing field.

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