More Than $171 Million Awarded in Emission-Reducing Rural, Electric and Natural Gas Transit Projects in Virginia

June 26, 2023

Warner and Kaine Applaud More Than $171 Million for Five Transit Projects in Virginia

[Press release courtesy of Senator Mark Warner’s website]

On June 26th, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) applauded $171,555,620 in federal funding for five transit projects in Virginia. This funding was authorized by the bipartisan infrastructure law supported by both Senators and signed into law by President Joe Biden. Specifically, these federal dollars will go towards investing in bus facilities and American-built buses that will be manufactured with American parts and labor.  

“We are thrilled to see the bipartisan infrastructure law continue to deliver for communities,” said the Senators. “This funding will help deliver state-of-the-art buses and bus facilities that are better for our environment and make Virginia’s transit systems more reliable and comfortable for riders. We’re proud to know that this funding will support American jobs while making our communities more accessible.” 

The funding will be distributed as follows:

  • The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will receive $104 million to convert its Lorton, VA, bus garage to a fully electric facility, buy approximately 100 battery-electric buses, and develop a workforce training program for drivers, mechanics, and first responders to ensure safe and efficient operations of the fleet. This project will support WMATA’s plans to accelerate its transition to a 100-percent zero-emission bus fleet and create good paying construction jobs, which will be supported through a project labor agreement and registered apprenticeships.
  • The City of Alexandria will receive $23,984,700 to buy 13 battery-electric buses and charging equipment and perform utility upgrades to the DASH transit system. The project includes worker training to introduce new skills to the existing and future workforce to maintain the electric buses, charging infrastructure and associated technology. The buses will accelerate DASH’s transition to a 100% zero-emission fleet.
  • Loudoun County will receive $13,880,910 to buy 37 compressed natural gas buses, build a fueling station and improve its maintenance facility, the first step in its 10-year net-zero energy strategy.  The buses will anchor the agency’s fleet and service the county’s environmental justice communities while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads will receive $25,000,000 to replace the 39-year-old Parks Avenue Maintenance Facility in Virginia Beach to accommodate future zero-emission buses. The new Southside Bus Operating Facility will help the agency support and maintain its current fleet while preparing to support expanded regional transit service.
  • The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) will receive $4,690,010 to replace the oldest buses operated by 11 rural transit providers. The project includes the purchase of a few dozen replacement buses that are vital to reducing a backlog of adequate vehicles. 

Funding for these projects was distributed through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities and Low- and No-Emission (Low-No) Vehicle programs.

The Buses and Bus Facilities program provides federal funding for transit agencies to buy and rehabilitate buses and vans and build and modernize bus facilities. The bipartisan infrastructure law provides nearly $2 billion through FY 2026 for the program. The Low-No program makes funding available to help transit agencies buy or lease American-built low- or zero-emission vehicles, including buses and vans; make facility and station upgrades to accommodate low- or zero-emission vehicles; and purchase supporting equipment like chargers for battery electric vehicles. The bipartisan infrastructure law provides $5.5 billion through FY 2026 for the Low-No Program – more than six times greater than the previous five years of funding combined.