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Grant funds zero-emission buses
DART has received a $7.6 million grant to purchase seven all-electric Proterra EV buses and the infrastructure to charge and maintain them. DART is one of 10 transit authorities selected for funding from the Federal Transit Administration under the Low and No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program, which is distributing nearly $55 million in competitive grants.
"The Obama administration is committed to investing in 21st century transportation solutions like these zero-emission buses," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said when announcing the grants in February. "These innovative, energy-efficient buses will help increase efficiency, improve air quality and reduce our nation's dependence on oil."
The agency will use the new vehicles on D-Link, a route that connects arts, dining, cultural and entertainment destinations in downtown Dallas, Uptown and the historic Oak Cliff neighborhood. The Proterra EV buses, which should arrive by late 2016, will join the electric light rail trains as zero-emission vehicles in DART's transit fleet.
One of two charging stations likely will be located near Convention Center Station. A roof-mounted charging dock allows the bus to pull into a stop under the charger to repower. Planners will build charging time - approximately 10 minutes - into the route schedule. Battery-electric buses use technology similar to that on the new Dallas Streetcar, which opens in April.
North Texas' congressional delegation supported DART's application. Project partners include the city of Dallas, Proterra, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Cavallo Energy Texas and Downtown Dallas, Inc.
The LoNo Program increases deployment of the cleanest and most energy-efficient, U.S.-made zero- and low-emission buses. While these vehicles have been largely proven in testing and demonstrations, they are not widely deployed. Grants from the LoNo program will help public transportation agencies integrate more of these cutting-edge buses into their fleets.
FTA received 50 project proposals requesting a total of $200 million, far exceeding available funds. DART received one of the larger grants, which ranged from $1 million to $9.8 million. Other cities receiving a portion of the $55 million in LoNo grants were Stockton, Calif.; Thousand Palms, Calif.; Lexington, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; Boston; Worcester, Mass.; Duluth, Minn.; Canton, Ohio; and Lancaster, Pa.
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