2 St. Louis-area transit districts get funding for bus upgrades

The funding is part of $409.3 million in recently announced FTA grants for 70 projects in 39 states to electrify and improve U.S. bus systems.

ST. LOUIS — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration recently awarded a combined approximately $6.8 million to two St. Louis-area transit districts to upgrade their bus systems.

Metro Transit, the unit of Bi-State Development that oversees bus, light rail, and paratransit operations in the St. Louis area, and Madison County Mass Transit District, which provides public transportation in Madison County , Illinois, received funding as part of $409.3 million in recently announced FTA grants for 70 projects in 39 states to electrify and improve American bus systems.

Metro Transit will receive a grant of nearly $4.1 million to fund new charging infrastructure at a new location and to purchase several new electric buses to replace diesel buses that have exceeded their useful life and need to be retired .

Federal funds and local matching funding could support up to six new 40-foot battery-powered electric buses and new charging infrastructure at the DeBaliviere MetroBus facility, officials said in a statement Wednesday.

The new vehicles added to the electric bus fleet are zero-emission buses, funded 70% to 80% by various FTA grants and 20% to 30% by local sales tax sources, officials said.

Subway Transit launched its electric bus program in June 2021 with 18 battery electric buses. Six additional buses have been added to the agency’s MetroBus battery-electric fleet in recent months, officials said Wednesday. The agency’s existing electric fleet includes 14 60-foot articulated battery-electric buses manufactured by New Flyer America and 10 40-foot battery-electric buses manufactured by GILLIG. The 60-foot vehicles are used exclusively on Metro’s busiest route, the No. 70 Grand, and carry about 10% of its customers daily, officials said. GILLIG Electric Buses serve multiple MetroBus routes in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

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