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Pierce Transit receives $3.87 million grant to purchase electric bus-es, related infrastructure and training
Aug. 18, 2022 - The Federal Transit Administration has awarded Pierce Transit a $3.87 million Low or No Emission Vehicle (“Low-No”) grant to purchase three battery electric, zero-emission buses, and related charging infrastructure, plus provide employee training. Pierce Transit applied for the competitive grant earlier this year, and the award was recommended by US Senator Maria Cantwell; Representatives Marilyn Strickland, Derek Kilmer and Adam Smith; Steilacoom Mayor Dick Muri; the Washington State Department of Transportation; Lakeview Light and Power; and Tacoma Public Utilities. The Low-No grant program, which aims to increase the number of zero-emission transit vehicles on America’s roads, was recently expanded due to passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“Pierce Transit has a legacy of strong environmental stewardship, and this award will help us continue building on that foundation,” said Pierce Transit CEO Mike Griffus. “I want to thank our federal elected officials and other partners who supported bringing these federal resources to the South Sound and helping Pierce Transit realize a cleaner transportation future for Pierce County.”
In 2016, Pierce Transit introduced the South Sound’s first electric buses, which were also funded through a federal grant. Today the agency operates nine electric buses; this award will bring the agency’s electric fleet to a dozen vehicles. The three new electric buses will replace aging vehicles that have exceeded their useful life and average more than a half-million odometer miles. The award supports Pierce Transit’s plan to operate 39 zero-emission buses by 2030, meeting the goal of converting 20 percent of its fleet to zero emissions by the end of the decade.
“The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber was thrilled to learn of the Federal Transit Administration’s decision to invest in zero-emission technology for Pierce County’s local public transit system,” said Chamber President and CEO Andrea Reay. “New electric buses on the road means cleaner air and a state-of-the-art, elevated rider experience, making Pierce County an even better place to ride, work, live and play.”
“Pierce Conservation District was excited to learn of Pierce Transit’s recent Low-No award, which will propel the agency’s electrification efforts and bring more zero-emission public transportation options to our community," said Pierce Conservation District Executive Director Dana Coggon. “The mission of public transit aligns with PCD’s vision and work by promoting cleaner air through electrification, mitigating congestion, and reducing debris from cars swept up by stormwater runoff. We look forward to working together for a cleaner, more resilient future for the South Sound.”
The timeline to get the new buses on the road will be determined once the agency enters the procurement process for the buses and related infrastructure.