Electrifying your Fleet Webinar Recording and Summary
March 25, 2024

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Webinar Summary

On March 19, 2024, the Local Infrastructure Hub hosted a session to discuss the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act’s funding opportunities for reducing or eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from city buses, heavy-duty vehicles, and other public transit systems. This session featured Paul Kincaid, Associate Administrator for Communications and Congressional Affairs, Federal Transit Administration; Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio, TX; Mayor Bruce Teague of Iowa City, IA; Lan Rao, Transit Division Manager, Public Works, Colorado Springs, CO; and Matt Stephens-Rich, Director of Technical Services for the Electrification Coalition to discuss funding streams for greening city fleet and eligible projects.

Key Insights Shared

Focus on regional collaboration.

When discussing Low- and No-Emission Grants, Paul Kincaid emphasized that joint procurement will be given priority consideration. Meaning that cities in a region have a better chance of receiving an award if they come together to use a common specification or commit to using a standard vehicle mode. He also stated that cities should contact their regional FTA offices for support. Regional FTAs know more about your area and are better placed to answer questions and offer application support.

Establish your city’s vision and goals.

Iowa City was awarded a $23.2 million Low- and No- Emission Grant award to replace older diesel vehicles with electric buses and replace its operations and maintenance facility. This grant will allow Iowa City to improve its transit system’s conditions and reliability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mayor Teague credited the city’s Transit Study as the key to its winning application. Iowa City’s Transit Study evaluated current transit services and determined efficient transportation solutions that would advance the city’s Climate Action Plan while allowing the city to be ready for any future transit opportunities.

Highlight the economic benefits of greening your fleet.

In San Antonio, the transportation sector is responsible for 38% of city emissions. Therefore, San Antonio is investing in clean transportation on all fronts to reach the city’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. The city is close to breaking ground on its first mass transit system. The city council approved new building codes that will require builders to install EV charging outlets in new single-family homes and the San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority was awarded $3 million to buy propane-fueled paratransit vehicles. Mayor Nirenberg believes that the key to garnering support for these projects is to put the economic argument out in front of the public in a way that’s easy to understand.

Be Flexible.

Electrifying a city fleet requires a good planning process; however, Colorado Springs’ Lan Rao stressed that cities must be agile enough to revisit the plan and adjust to an ever-changing environment. After investing in electric buses in 2019, Colorado Springs dealt with maintenance issues during extreme weather. The city decided to diversify its fleet moving forward, starting with the Mountain Metropolitan Transit’s $3.2 million Low- and No-Emission Grant award to buy electric hybrid buses. The hybrid buses will allow the city to reduce emissions while giving it the flexibility to ensure reliable transportation.

Local Infrastructure Hub Bootcamp Materials

The Local Infrastructure Hub is here to support cities in communicating the success of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded projects through a mix of webinars, practical tools, and templates. Our webinars and Grant Application Bootcamps can guide you through different application processes and actionable steps to submit a strong application.

Local Infrastructure Hub Bootcamps are especially helpful for cities as they provide technical assistance for city staff on relevant tools and templates that can be applied to grant applications; how to build community engagement plans; how to leverage community assets; how to effectively incorporate data into the grant application process; and how to construct a strong budget and grant narrative.

Access the PDF here

Other Resources

Safe Streets and Roads For All Grant Program

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) discretionary program, with $5 billion in appropriated funds over five years, 2022-2026. The SS4A program funds regional, local, and Tribal initiatives through grants to...

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