NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will add electric buses to its service after receiving $5.15 million from the Federal Transit Administration last week.
The money awarded comes from the FTA’s Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program.
“The RTA is making great strides to improve the quality of life for all New Orleanians,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “The switch to electric buses will take thoughtful planning and significant infrastructure investments.
“This award provides the RTA with the opportunity to begin that process,” she continued. “I’d like to thank our partners at the federal level and the strong leadership of President Joe Biden and USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg for this investment that aligns with our climate goals.”
The agency will utilize the funding to install the battery-charging infrastructure in its facilities and required diagnostic and maintenance equipment to fully integrate No-Emission vehicles in the RTA fleet.
The grant will also fund at least three new electric buses.
The addition of electric infrastructure will allow the RTA to focus on reducing emissions and allow the agency to retire older fixed route vehicles.
The agency’s goal of having 75% of the fleet powered by Low- or No-Emission vehicles by 2030, is in line with federal, state, and local initiatives to protect the environment and public health.
“Today’s grant award brings the RTA one huge step closer to electrifying our fleet and advancing efforts to mitigate climate change,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., Chair, RTA Board. “This grant provides critical infrastructure – supporting efforts to strategically consider principles of environmental justice that ensure we are reducing air pollution for all New Orleanians, particularly low-income and communities of color.”
The RTA was one of 49 projects in 46 states awarded funding to improve service and air quality within their communities. RTA anticipates implementation in the fourth quarter of 2021.