LaHood: $101.4 million to promote innovative clean-fuel technologies in transit

Transit providers will be able to compete for a share of $101.4 million in federal funding by proposing innovative projects that create ‘green’ jobs, promote the use of clean fuels and cut our nation’s dependence on oil, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on June 30.

“This money supports President Obama’s plan to improve the environment and secure America’s energy future,” said LaHood in a written statement. “These investments will improve public transportation access for millions of Americans — all while reducing our dependence on oil, curbing air pollution, and easing pain at the gas pump.”

The money is being provided competitively through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Fiscal Year 2011 Sustainability Initiative, which includes funding from two programs: $51.5 million from FTA’s Clean Fuels Grant Program and $49.9 million from FTA’s Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) III Program.

“With high gasoline prices hitting families hard, investments in transit are more important than ever,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “By giving Americans more transportation choices, we’re providing a win for their pocketbooks and for the environment.”

Clean Fuels grant recipients will be chosen through a competitive selection process based on their ability to help communities achieve or maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide, while supporting emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses.

TIGGER III grants, which will also use a competitive selection process, will be awarded based on a project’s ability to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and provide a return on the investment.

Last year’s 63 winning projects involved an array of environmental innovations, such as installing energy-efficient technologies at transit facilities, replacing traditional diesel-powered buses with low- or zero-emission vehicles, and building compressed natural gas fueling stations. The winning proposals, chosen from among 274 applications from across the U.S., can be found here.

In addition to announcing competitive funds available through the Sustainability Initiative, the FTA today also issued similar notices for two additional competitive programs: the $750 million State of Good Repair Initiative, which targets U.S. transit agencies’ maintenance and repair backlogs, and the $175 million Livability Expansion Initiative, which will fund investments that support the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities.