DDOT receiving $30.8 million in federal funding to buy new electric buses

DDOT new buses
Posted at 11:15 AM, Jul 09, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Detroit Department of Transportation is receiving $30.8 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to buy new diesel-electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses.

According to a release from the federal department, this money is to support DDOT's green bus fleet of the future. The money is part of $1.5 billion in funding to support 117 public transportation projects across 47 states. The federal government plans to produce more than 4,600 new buses in U.S. factories.

“A year ago, I had more buses than drivers. Today, I’ve got more drivers than buses," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan at a ceremony Tuesday. "By next, year, we’re going to have more buses and drivers.”

Along with new buses to replace aging ones, the money will also go towards a hydrogen fueling station and charging equipment for the new fleet. The federal support will also include training to help bus operators and maintenance workers learn how to drive and maintain the new buses geared towards clean energy and carbon emissions.

Acting Administrator for the Federal Transit Authority Veronica Vanterpool presented the check for the grant to the city at the Jason Hargrove Transit Center.

“So when people have access to a bus that is modern and convenient with enhancements that make their experience better, it is a choice for them living in a certain community or accessing a certain job or going to a particular school or for some people deciding whether or not to have a car,” Vanterpool said.

The city says the money will be used to bring 25 new buses to the city, 21 hybrids and four will be the city's first fuel-cell coaches.

“The buses that they’re replacing, I guess, they’re saying they’re from 2014," said Schetrone Collier, President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26. "There has been so much innovation in bus technology in the last 10 years that will now be of benefit to the public as well as to the environment.”

MDOT brought a $5 million match towards the clean energy initiative, bringing the total to $36 million.

“So this puts us on a path to full decarbonization and we will get there when we’re able to produce clean hydrogen at scale at zero emissions,” said Michigan's Chief Infrastructure Officer Zachary Kolodin.

“Today, another 117 communities across 47 states are receiving the good news that their transit buses are being modernized and their commutes improved through President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement.. “The Biden-Harris Administration is helping agencies replace old buses running on dirtier, expensive fuels by delivering modern and zero-emission buses, manufactured by American workers, that will connect more people to where they need to go.”

More information about federal money going to these bus projects across the countrycan be found here.