Oklahoma City Awarded $2 Million Federal Grant for New Transit Buses
The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) announced that EMBARK, a division of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA), will receive nearly $2 million to purchase new CNG buses. EMBARK will use the funds to purchase six new buses to replace aging buses in the fleet. The buses will be similar to the six 40-foot CNG buses that EMBARK deployed this fall.
“This grant will allow EMBARK to replace some of our oldest vehicles that are at least 12 years old with clean-energy vehicles, which will help protect our community’s air quality,” said Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK administrator. “EMBARK’s goal is to transition all of our buses to alternative fuels, the majority being CNG, and this grant helps us get closer to that goal.”
Demand for FTA’s Bus Replacement Program far exceeded available funds after receiving 284 applications totaling $1.64 billion from 236 applicants in 47 states. Project proposals were evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, with priority given to projects that address significant repair and maintenance needs, improve the safety of transit systems, include advanced technologies to connect bus systems with other networks and support the creation of ladders of opportunity.
Earlier this year EMBARK’s governing body, the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority, approved a plan to replace its entire bus fleet to CNG or electric buses by 2025. A CNG fueling facility is being designed by Wendel Architects and Engineers, and the facility is scheduled to operate in early 2018.