$1.7 billion awarded to buy electric and low-emission buses

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The US Department of Transportation is awarding nearly $1.7 billion in grants to buy zero- and low-emission buses, with the money going toward transit projects in 46 states and territories.

The grants will allow transit agencies and state and local governments to purchase 1,700 US-made buses, nearly half of which will be zero-carbon. The funds for the grants come from of the bipartisan infrastructure bill of 2021 Signed into law by President Joe Biden. The Democratic president has made it a priority to put more electric vehicles on the roads especially for schools and public transportation, in an effort to contain the damage from the climate change .

“Every day, millions of Americans board more than 60,000 buses to get to work, to school, to medical appointments, wherever they need to be,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a call with journalists. “These are unprecedented levels of investment when it comes to putting cleaner modern buses on the road.”

Monday's announcement covers the second round of grants for buses and supporting infrastructure. In all, the US has invested a total of $3.3 billion in the projects so far. Government officials expect to award approximately $5 billion more over the next three years.

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

The government received 475 project proposals for the grants totaling approximately $8.7 billion, a sign of demand for funding.

The Seattle area will receive $33.5 million to purchase 30 electric buses and battery chargers. The Washington, DC Transit Authority will use $104 million to convert a bus garage to an electrical facility and purchase approximately 100 battery-electric buses. But money is also coming out of major US cities, Iowa City, Iowa and the Seneca Nation in western New York also receive grants.

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