Sun Metro received an $8.8 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the purpose of refurbishing part of its fleet to zero-emission units.
“These federal funds for Sun Metro will make a profound difference in the lives of our customers who rely on transit services, and who are currently served by an aging fleet,” said Ellen Smyth, Chief of Transit and Field Operations for the City of El Paso.
Smyth said the switch to zero-emission buses will not only modernize the entire LIFT fleet, but will also contribute to cleaner air in the region and create new jobs for drivers and service technicians.
The award will include a city contribution of $2.2 million, for a total project cost of approximately $11 million.
Sun Metro was selected from more than 500 transit agencies nationwide seeking to invest in bus fleets and facilities through FTA programs, the first competitive grant selections under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.
With the resource, Sun Metro will invest in 50 zero-emission transit vehicles; as well as install 25 electric charging stations; train employees to operate the new technology; as well as hire and train new service and maintenance workers.
“When a transit gateway opens, whether it’s a bus, train or ferry, it’s a great equalizer for everyone in our nation,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.
Fernandez explained that with the amount of funding awarded, the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act gives more Americans access to the opportunities transit creates, more often and in more places.
“These investments also help us meet our goals of reducing transportation emissions, creating good-paying American manufacturing jobs, and helping America’s transit employees prepare for new vehicle technology,” she said.