The Northern Mariana Islands has been awarded $2.3 million in funding for infrastructure upgrades under the Federal Transit Administration’s 2021 Low or No Emission Bus Program.
The money totaling $2,373,675 would go to the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority, which will use it to purchase battery-powered buses, build a charging station, and provide workforce development training.
COTA provides transit services on Saipan and this funding is intended to improve service and reliability for residents who use transit to access jobs, school, healthcare, and other services.
This grant is just part of approximately $182 million in funding that FTA of the U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding for low and no emissions buses and the facilities that support them and is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the end of the decade.
The project selections were approved as part of the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program, which funds the deployment of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses and supporting equipment and facilities. A total of 49 projects in 46 states and territories will receive funding through the program.
“Public transit connects people to jobs, services, and loved ones—and when our transit buses produce low or zero emissions, it’s an even bigger win for communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “There is overwhelming demand to support low and no emission transit all around the country— in both rural and urban areas —and meeting this need is a matter of climate responsibility and public health.”
FTA’s Low-No Program supports transit agencies in purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses and other transit vehicles that use technologies such as battery electric and fuel-cell power to provide cleaner, more efficient transit service in communities across the country. This year’s funding opportunity prioritized applications with an environmental justice component as well as those that support workforce development to help America’s transit workers succeed even as their jobs change along with technology.
“The Federal Transit Administration is proud to support our transit partners to upgrade their fleets with newer, cleaner vehicles and facilities,” said FTA administrator Nuria Fernandez. “These projects are all designed to take dirty buses off the road and replace them with clean, electric models, improving the air we breathe and protecting our planet for future generations.”
Eligible applicants for Low-No funding included public transit agencies, state transportation departments and Indian Tribes. Projects were evaluated based on criteria defined in federal law and in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, including the applicant’s demonstration of need, project benefits and implementation strategies, and capacity for completing the project. (PR)