RTA Receives $5M Grant for Electric Fleet Infrastructure
NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority said it will receive $5.15 million from a Federal Transit Administration low emissions grant program.
“The RTA is making great strides to improve the quality of life for all New Orleanians,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a release. “The switch to electric buses will take thoughtful planning and significant infrastructure investments. This award provides the RTA with the opportunity to begin that process. I’d like to thank our partners at the federal level and the strong leadership of President Joe Biden and USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg for this investment that aligns with our climate goals.”
The agency said it will use the funds to buy at least three new buses, battery-charging infrastructure, diagnostic equipment and maintenance equipment required to integrate no-emission vehicles into the RTA fleet. The plan is implement the new technology in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“Today’s grant award brings the RTA one huge step closer to electrifying our fleet and advancing efforts to mitigate climate change,” said Flozell Daniels Jr., chair of the RTA Board. “This grant provides critical infrastructure – supporting efforts to strategically consider principles of environmental justice that ensure we are reducing air pollution for all New Orleanians, particularly low-income and communities of color.”
The RTA said funding will allow the agency to retire a number of older fixed-route vehicles. The agency hopes to have 75% of the fleet powered by low- or no-emission vehicles by 2030.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration is supplying $182 million in funding for low- and no-emission buses and the facilities. The RTA was one of 49 projects in 46 states awarded funding.