Federal Grants to Fund 29 Buses and a New Bus Facility for Greater Minnesota Public Transit

Published on: August 24, 2022

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently announced that its Low- and No-Emission and Bus and Bus Facilities programs will provide $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states across the country to invest in bus fleets and facilities for the Fiscal Year 2022. Of this, more than $17.5 million was awarded for public transit in Greater Minnesota. Funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the majority of funded projects will use zero-emissions technology. The following transit agencies will receive funding:

  • SouthWest Transit (SWT), which serves the southwest Minneapolis cities of Chaska, Chanhassen, and Eden Prairie will receive $8,127,891 to buy 10 battery electric buses and charging equipment to replace vehicles that have exceeded their useful life. SWT has set a goal to switch over its express and microtransit fleets to electric vehicles over the next 20 years.
  • MN Chippewa Tribe-White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians, which operates White Earth Public Transit, will receive $3,607,642 to build a new bus facility and office space in Waubun. The facility will include a passenger terminal as well as bus storage and maintenance, improving the efficiency and reliability of transit service.
  • The Prairie Island Indian Community in Red Wing will receive $1,616,426 to buy seven battery-electric buses and charging equipment. They will also train transit workers to operate and maintain vehicles powered with the new technologies. The buses will replace vehicles that have reached their useful life and will help the tribe achieve its net zero-emission goals, which it plans to achieve through conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and vehicle electrification.
  • The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa will receive $739,500 to buy six propane-fueled buses to replace diesel buses to improve the efficiency of its Big Woods Transit fleet and minimize negative environmental impacts in the Arrowhead region of northern Minnesota. The buses will lessen idle time in cold weather, reduce fuel cost, and by emitting less carbon dioxide than gasoline, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Minnesota Department of Transportation will receive $3,414,680 to buy six battery electric buses and charging equipment to replace current buses. The grant funding, along with a $425,196 local match from MnDOT also covers charging equipment, tools, related infrastructure, training, and administrative support. Agencies receiving a second bus are responsible for the local match for the second vehicle. The new buses will replace six conventional gas-powered buses at the following rural transit systems:

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