The City of Tucson received a $2.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase electric buses and electric charging infrastructure. The City is one of 38 cities that were awarded the Low-No Grant, and is the only recipient in Arizona.
“The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide – about 29 percent in 2017," said Tucson City Council Member Paul Durham. "If we're going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we must power transportation from renewable energy. That's why when I found this grant opportunity, I made sure Tucson applied. Thanks and congratulations to all the hard-working staff at the Transportation Department and Sun Tran for getting this grant. I am looking forward to seeing these buses on the streets of Tucson.”
GILLIG, one of the largest bus manufacturers in the U.S., partnered with the City of Tucson for the grant and is just now producing their first-ever electric buses, after four years of development. The grant will pay for at least three, 40-foot-long electric buses that will replace aging biodiesel buses in the Sun Tran fleet.
“We are grateful for the strong support from our Congressional delegation in regards to the application and to the Mayor and Council for letters of support and advocacy for transportation and transit systems that meet the community’s goals for mobility, access, and a healthy environment,” said City of Tucson Transportation Director Diana Alarcon.
Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is also partnering with the City of Tucson to assist with the installation and procurement of the electric charging stations. “We're proud to participate in a project that will help improve the sustainability of public transportation and provide value to our customers and community," said Dallas Dukes, TEP Vice President of Energy Programs and Pricing. "As TEP continues to expand its use of wind and solar resources, the greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits associated with electric vehicle charging will continue to grow.”
The City had planned to test an electric bus on a one-year leasing deal starting in the Fall. This grant allows the City to greatly expand the test of electric vehicles in Tucson. After the leased electric bus arrives, the City will order the additional electric vehicles. From the time of order, the electric vehicles will arrive within 12 months. For more information on the FTA’s Low-or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program visit https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/lowno