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The City of Las Cruces’ RoadRUNNER Transit has been awarded almost $7.9 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for new electric buses and a new transit facility, the City of Las Cruces said in a news release.
The money, coming from FTA’s FY22 Low or No Emission Buses Grant Program and Bus Facilities Program, includes $5.72 million to replace diesel fixed-route buses with seven battery electric buses, purchase electric chargers and implement workforce training. This will help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by an estimated 887 metric tons per year.
The City will also receive almost $2.2 million to complete construction of a new transit maintenance and operations facility and for training, which will enable RoadRUNNER Transit to expand its fleet, support the new buses and enlarge maintenance areas, a fueling depot and bus-wash building. This will allow RoadRUNNER Transit to relocate from its Hadley Avenue facility, leaving that area for the city to re-purpose. The new facility will be on Motel Boulevard, next to the existing Las Cruces Utilities.
“RoadRUNNER Transit is honored to be selected for these FTA funding awards which will allow the City to transform over half of its fixed route bus fleet from diesel buses to clean electric buses,” said city Transit Administrator Mike Bartholomew told the Bulletin.
“These zero-emission buses will result in significant progress towards the city’s clean air and sustainability goals. This award will also allow the city to complete the full build-out of a new operations and maintenance facility on Westgate Court, which will include electric bus-charging infrastructure. Finally, this award allows for a robust workforce development program to train frontline staff, creating strong job skills to support transit operations as it moves forward to a clean and sustainable future. Kudos are in order for the many people – both city staff and contractors – who spent many hours contributing to the development of two strongly competitive funding applications – everyone’s hard work paid off,” Bartholomew said.
The city expects delivery of five electric buses in April 2023. The order for an additional seven buses will be submitted by the end of 2022, with an estimated build time of 18 months. The transit fleet of electrical fixed-route buses will be complete with 12 buses by summer 2024.
RoadRUNNER Transit is among 150 transit agencies, territories and states awarded $1.66 billion in FTA grants. The funding comes from the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding will help meet the goal of net-zero emissions in the U.S. by 2050.
This year's funding will nearly double the number of no-emission transit buses on U.S. roadways, according to the FTA.