JTA awarded $15.4 million USDOT grant to make bus fleet more sustainable

Posted: 19 August 2022 | | No comments yet

USDOT’s funding will allow the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to continue advancing its sustainability efforts by replacing more diesel buses with vehicles powered by cleaner compressed natural gas.

JTA awarded $15.4 million USDOT grant to make bus fleet more sustainable

Credit: Jacksonville Transportation Authority

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has announced that it has been awarded $15.4 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation‘s (USDOT) Low or No Emissions Buses & Bus Facilities Grant Program.

The grant programme assists transit agencies in the financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing or leasing buses or related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, constructing or leasing bus-related facilities. The programme provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. 

“Thanks to this significant investment by USDOT, and with the support of our Congressional leadership, the JTA will continue to advance sustainability efforts by phasing out more diesel buses with vehicles powered by cleaner compressed natural gas,” said JTA CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “We also will leverage this funding to invest in the future with infrastructure to support and integrate more electric-powered buses into our fleet.”

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The proposed $21 million project comprises the Low-No grant and approximately $6 million in local match dollars. Through this project, JTA will retire 21 diesel buses that have reached or exceeded their useful life and replace them with the CNG-powered buses. The authority is also preparing for the next generation of carbon neutral electric buses by building the necessary infrastructure to support six additional battery electric buses funded through the State of Florida’s Volkswagen Settlement Program.

JTA began phasing out diesel buses with CNG with the launch of the First Coast Flyer Bus Rapid Transit Network, and through a public-private partnership with Clean Energy to build a CNG filling station on the JTA’s Myrtle Avenue Operations Campus. The authority added two battery-electric buses and charging stations in 2020, with the current fleet now comprising of 127 CNG buses, 61 diesel buses, seven hybrid diesel buses and two battery-electric buses.

Sustainability is also a key theme of JTA’s new five-year strategic plan, MOVE2027 – Mobility Optimization through Vision & Excellence. The plan has been developed to respond to current and future needs of northeast Florida and sets an ambitious agenda for JTA over the next five years to keep the authority at the forefront of a changing region and mobility landscape.