ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff get $51M in federal funding for clean mass transit initiatives

Jun 26, 2023, 8:00 PM

File photo of a Chicago Transit Authority electric bus. The Biden administration announced grants o...

(AP Photo/Erin Hooley, File)

(AP Photo/Erin Hooley, File)

PHOENIX – The Biden administration announced grants of more than $51 million for low- or no-emission mass transit initiatives in the Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff areas.

The Arizona cut is part of 130 Department of Transportation awards totaling nearly $1.7 billion from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Valley Metro’s grant is for $13.3 million. It will be used on battery-electric buses to replace older vehicles as well as charging equipment to support electric bus operations in Tempe and worker training.

Tucson’s Sun Tran system is getting $21.5 million to replace older diesel buses with compressed natural gas vehicles.

Flagstaff’s Mountain Line was awarded $16.4 million to build a facility that will house the system’s bus fleet, improve maintenance and create jobs in zero-emission technology.

“Every day, millions of Americans climb aboard over 60,000 buses to get to work, to school, doctor’s appointments, everywhere they need to be,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a call with reporters. “These are unprecedented levels of investment when it comes to putting modern cleaner buses on the road.”

Monday’s announcement covers the second round of grants for buses and supporting infrastructure. All told, the U.S. has invested a total of $3.3 billion in the projects so far. Government officials expect to award roughly $5 billion more over the next three years.

The Biden administration said that the new buses will improve public health as diesel exhaust will no longer be going into the air and that the new buses will be easier to maintain.

The government received 475 project proposals for the grants that totaled roughly $8.7 billion, a sign of the demand for the funding.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff get $51M in federal funding for clean mass transit initiatives