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FTA Directed to Expand Low/No Emission Grant Program to Support All Qualifying Transit Bus Technologies

Congressional Advocacy Effort by NGVAmerica Successful

Washington, DC – Directive language compelling the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to divert from its recent all-electric trend and refocus the Low/No Emission grant program to support all qualifying low emission fuel sources – including natural gas – was included in a combined year-end FY 2021 Omnibus spending and Covid-19 stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this week.

In its markup of the FY 2021 Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill, the Senate reported:

Low or No Emission Bus Program. – The Committee directs FTA to implement the low or no emission section 5339(c) competitive grant program in a manner that encourages a variety of different fuel types including electric, natural gas, hydrogen and other alternative fuel types. FTA should give consideration for procurements that reduce an agency’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and takes into consideration the resources available to the agency to do so. The Committee reminds FTA that for some agencies, the transition to zero emission requires the use of low emission buses to bridge funding and technology gaps.

In final House and Senate conference, the Appropriations Committee confirmed:

Low and no emission buses. – The agreement directs the FTA to implement 49 U.S.C. 5339(c) in a manner that encourages a variety of different fuel types and consider procurements that reduce an agency’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

“If reducing emissions impacting frontline urban communities and expanding no-carbon footprints are priorities, then refocusing Low/No to maximize FTA clean transit investments must happen now,” said NGVAmerica President Dan Gage. “Investing in RNG-fueled buses allows for more clean buses deployed with more cost-effective emissions and climate impact achieved right away.”

Natural gas transit buses are the most affordable, most effective, and most reliable alternative fuel bus option for mass transit operators across North America, detailed in a recently-released report compiled by NGVAmerica and based on data from ongoing independent national studies and evaluations.

Find out just how alternative fuel natural gas transit buses outperform their electric counterparts on virtually every major assessment mark at: