The Colorado Department of Transportation is awarding nearly $14 million in grants from its share of a Volkswagen settlement to help six local transit agencies replace 28 ageing diesel-powered buses with alternative fuel buses, including 24 battery-powered buses plus related charging equipment.
When good things come out of bad things: the funding that has become available through the Volkswagen Settlement Trust due to Volkswagen’s vehicle emissions violations is now providing Colorado with approximately $68 million for cleaner transportation. The Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) defines how Colorado must use the Settlement funds, and is led by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in partnership with Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Colorado Energy Office, and the Regional Air Quality Council.
The grants from the Colorado Department of Transportation will be used to replace 28 ageing diesel-powered buses from Colorado streets, replacing them with 24 zero-emission battery-powered buses and related charging equipment, three propane (LPG) buses and one compressed natural gas (CNG) bus. Nearly $14 million has been awarded to six transit agencies. Four of the six transit agencies, serving Boulder, Tr. Collins, Colorado Springs and Eagle County, will implement electric buses for the first time.
In January this year, Gov. Polis issued an executive order to advance zero-emission vehicles, directing state agencies to modify the BMP so that all future Settlement investments will support electric vehicles. The Colorado Department of Transportation will seek additional competitive applications for electric buses in autumn of this year. In partnership with the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies, the Department is providing training and support for fleet electrification and maintenance so that more transit agencies will be eligible and prepared to compete for funding in subsequent competitive rounds.