Battery electric buses will advance VIA’s efforts to convert fleet to alternative fuel sources
For the second year in a row, VIA Metropolitan Transit has been selected by the Federal Transit Administration to receive funding to replace diesel buses with battery electric buses.
The FTA is making $84.45 million available nationwide in selections for the Low- or No-Emission Grant program, and VIA is receiving $2 million under the program to purchase eight electric buses to help reduce emissions in the agency’s service area. VIA is one of only two entities in Texas to be awarded under this round of Low-No grants.
“We are proud to be the recipient of this grant, which will help us in the conversion of our fleet from diesel power to alternative power sources,” said VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt. “The acquisition of electric buses complements our purchases of compressed natural gas buses to highlight our role as an industry leader in improving local air quality.”
VIA’s first battery electric buses, also purchased with a federal grant, were introduced in 2013. Last year, VIA received a $1.75 million Low-No grant to add two more electric buses to its fleet.
In a statement on Wednesday, San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) congratulated VIA for the award. “As public transportation continues to grow in large cities including San Antonio, access to environmentally friendly options will further benefit the public health and environment of communities,” said Congressman Castro in a news release. “I welcome this federal grant for the purchase of these electric buses for downtown San Antonio, which will inevitably help our city be a national leader in sustainable transit. In turn, this grant will make our great city of San Antonio a safer, cleaner place for everyone and an example for other cities across Texas and our nation.”