The following information was released by the office of Texas Rep. Silvestre Reyes:
Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) today announced that the Department of Transportation (DOT) will award the City of El Paso with a $1 million federal grant to replace an existing Sun Metro bus and associated maintenance items through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Livability Bus Program. The new bus will run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
The funds in this grant will also be used as a test project in preparation for the implementation of Rapid Transit System (RTS) in El Paso. $13.5 million in federal funds have been dedicated to building the Mesa Street RTS Corridor. There are 13 proposed stations that begin at the Bert Williams Downtown Santa Fe Transfer Center, travel along Oregon Street and Mesa Street, and end at the Al Jefferson Westside Transfer Center.
"The Rapid Transit System is a faster and better way of transporting El Pasoans around our community quickly and efficiently," said Congressman Reyes. "With improved speed and reliability, I believe residents of the City will quickly seize the opportunity to utilize the RTS."
"This grant award signals that our new Rapid Transit System - RTS is quickly becoming a reality as our mass transit system evolves into a modern, reliable and efficient means of getting around the city." said Mayor John Cook.
Since 1998, Congressman Reyes has helped secure an additional $13.6 million in federal funding for Sun Metro buses. In 2009, he secured $1.4 million for the El Paso Rapid Transit System and a Liquification Plant for natural gas. In 2010, he secured $1 million for new Sun Metro buses.
Today, natural gas powers more than 12 million vehicles on the road and is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to gasoline, diesel, and propane. FTA created the Livability Bus Program in support of the DOT's Livability Initiative to make federal funds available to public transit providers to finance capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment.
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