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July 31, 2012 > VTA to receive $3.75M in federal funding

VTA to receive $3.75M in federal funding

Grant helps keep VTA state of good repair

Submitted By Brandi Childress

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is the recipient of a $3.75M grant that will boost the ongoing effort to replace aging buses with more fuel-efficient vehicles. This is the second award of federal funding to VTA in less than a year. In October 2011, VTA received notice of $3.64M to help replace buses that have reached their useful life span.

The federal funding announcement, made by Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is good news for more than 255 public transportation projects in urban, suburban and rural areas. The grants are made available through the FTA's fiscal year 2012 Alternatives Analysis, Bus Livability and State of Good Repair Programs. The grant selection process was highly competitive and FTA reviewed 836 project applications from transit providers across the country, representing $4 billion in funding requests for a $787M pot of money.

"This is welcome news for the more than 33 million riders, who use VTA buses each year, and will benefit from the added capacity and service these new buses will bring," said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Mike Honda has strongly supported VTA's transition to lower-emission, fuel-efficient buses, including securing nearly $2M in direct federal dollars. "Low-emission vehicles are a critical part of the future of public transportation and Silicon Valley is leading the way," said Congressman Honda.

In 2010, a $53.4M American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant and $5.3M in Prop 1B funding facilitated the purchase of 90 diesel-electric hybrid buses. The environmentally-friendly buses were manufactured by Gillig in Hayward, contributing to a boost in the local economy by providing jobs at a time when unemployment rates were at its highest. The new hybrid buses are saving VTA more than 25 percent in fuel savings and reducing operating and maintenance costs. New hybrid technology also contributes to cleaner air in Silicon Valley by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 15 percent.

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