U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was in St. Cloud today to announce that the city will receive $3.3 million to help the St. Cloud Metropolitan Transit Commission renovate its Metro Bus Operations Center so the facility can accommodate a fleet of transit vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), as well as to build a CNG fueling station. Secretary LaHood was joined by Senator Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Dave Kleis and other local officials.
"In Minnesota and across the country, President Obama is committed to investing in sustainable transportation systems that improve access to jobs, education and medical care for millions of riders, while bringing cleaner air to our communities and reducing our dependence on oil," said Secretary LaHood. "These projects will also help transit agencies operate more efficiently, so they save money in the long run."
The project is one of 27 projects across the country selected to receive $59.3 million in funds through the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) FY 2012 Clean Fuels Grant Program. This program is aimed at purchasing cleaner, greener buses that reduce harmful emissions and improve fuel economy while also delivering a more comfortable, reliable ride for passengers. The funds will help achieve President Obama's goal of an independent and secure energy future.
"As more and more Americans choose to ride the bus to work in St. Cloud and elsewhere, it's good to know that they can depend on vehicles that won't pollute the neighborhood while also helping us to achieve greater energy independence," said FTA Administrator Rogoff. "By investing in these clean-fuel projects today, we're helping to ensure that transit service is good for the environment for years to come."
Demand for FY 2012 funding was competitive, with FTA receiving 146 project applications totaling $516 million. A list of all 27 project selections, and a related map, can be found here: http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants_14835.html.
In FY 2010 and FY 2011, FTA's Clean Fuels Program awarded $89.7 million for 36 projects and $62.8 million for 29 projects, respectively. This year's projects were competitively selected based on their ability to help communities achieve or maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide while supporting emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses.