Congressional offices release early results of FY21 Low-No Vehicle grants

June 25, 2021
The FTA opened the $180 million funding opportunity for the Low or No Emission Vehicle Program in February.

A handful of congressional offices issued statements revealing which transit entities would be benefiting from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No Vehicle Program, which provides funding to state and local governmental authorities to purchase or lease low- or zero-emission vehicles, as well as the supporting infrastructure.

In February 2021, FTA made $180 million available for the FY21 round of grants. FTA included in the Notice of Funding Opportunity that priority would be placed on projects that will help improve air quality in non-attainment and maintenance areas for certain criteria pollutants under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The known grants account for slightly less than $30 million of the available funding. The transit entities to benefit from the grants include (congressional office releasing the information in italics):

  • $6.49 million awarded to the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County for the purchase of low- and zero-emission vehicles. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
  • $6.3 million awarded to Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) in Salem, Ore., to acquire the final zero-emission vehicles needed to complete its ‘Electric Bus Corridor’ along its longest route. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • $3.6 million awarded to Mountain Line in Missoula, Mont., for the purchase of electric vehicles. The transit provider has committed to eliminating tailpipe emissions from its fleet by 2035 and has already acquired 12 zero-emission buses. Sen. John Tester (D-MT)
  • $3.5 million awarded to Kansas City Area Transportation Authority for the purchase of vehicles. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) via Twitter post
  • $3.26 million awarded to Broome County (BC) Transit to purchase six long-range battery electric, zero-emissions buses that will feature powertrain components made by BAE Systems. The new vehicles will replace older, diesel-fueled buses. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • $2.9 million awarded to the city of Jackson, Miss., to purchase or lease low and no-emission buses for JTRAN, the city’s public transportation system. Sens. Roger Wicker(R-MS) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
  • $2.7 million awarded to the city of Lincoln, Neb., to improve and update its bus and bus infrastructure system in the city, including through the purchase of electric buses, charging stations and other important infrastructure. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)
  • $1.2 million awarded to Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach (BSOOB) Transit in Biddeford, Maine, to purchase two on-route fast charging stations for its two electric buses. The charging stations will be installed at the Saco Transportation Center. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

The U.S. Department of Transportation notified congressional offices of grant awards three days before releasing the full list of award recipients. The information is expected to be released early next week.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.