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Broome County’s Robust Bussing Infrastructure Is Essential To Southern Tier Economy; With Routes To Binghamton And Endicott, Many Residents Rely On Public Transportation For Daily Needs & To Get To Work

Schumer, Gillibrand Say New Zero-Emissions Buses Will Replace Older Diesel Buses, Reducing BC Transit’s Annual Emissions By ~416 Tons

Senators: Fed Grant Keeps Broome County Rolling To A Greener Future

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,255,276 from the Department of Transportation’s Low and No Emission Vehicle Grant Program for Broome County (BC) Transit. The grant funding will be used to purchase six long-range battery electric, zero emissions buses that will replace older, diesel-fueled buses. The senators noted that the new green vehicles will feature powertrain components made locally by BAE Systems, thereby supporting local jobs in Broome County.

“Transit service is a lifeline for many Broome County residents, and this new vital funding will allow BC transit to purchase brand spanking new, efficient, non-polluting electric buses to provide riders with a safe ride while helping the environment at every stop along the way,” said Senator Schumer. “I fought to deliver this funding because investment in transportation infrastructure is critical for residents and businesses. In fact, today’s funding goes further by directly supporting local jobs at BAE Systems and powering the future green economy in Broome County. I will continue to secure funding for BC Transit and other Upstate transit agencies to reduce dirty, fossil fuels to modernize their fleets so commuters can have a safer, faster, and cleaner ride.”

“This federal funding is a major investment for Broome County and the surrounding communities that rely on bus transportation for their commute. With this investment, Broome County Transit will be able to move from using diesel-fueled buses that pollute the region’s air quality to new, electric buses that offer zero and low emissions and create local jobs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Bus transit is a vital form of transportation for many New Yorkers and it’s time to modernize our systems to ensure a greener, more efficient future. I am proud to have fought to secure this funding.”

“Thanks to the relentless advocacy of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand, Broome County will be able to purchase 6 new zero emission electric buses, with key components made right here in Broome County by BAE Systems,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “Thank you to all of our partners for their hard work in making this happen and our essential workers at BC Transit who have continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is a win for the environment, a win for local jobs, and tremendous step forward in advancing public transit infrastructure in Broome County.”

“Broome County Transit is very excited and appreciative to have been awarded $3.25m from the “Low No Emission” vehicle grant. This award will be applied to the purchase of 6 brand new zero emission Battery Electric Buses (BEB) which will consummate a new era of clean transportation. The new buses are a collaboration of New York manufacturers, researchers and public transportation providers including; BC Transit, NY made NOVA Bus and Endicott based BAE Propulsion Systems as well as present research opportunities for Binghamton University. The grant will be all encompassing and provide engineering and installation of new charging infrastructure,” said Broome County Commissioner of Public Transportation Greg Kilmer. “We are always very appreciative of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand’s support for New York public transportation and applaud his commitment to clean energy transportation technology. This award will benefit Broome County residents with clean, quiet buses, provide economic support for BAE Systems and offer the opportunity to study and develop battery systems in a challenging real world environment.”

Schumer and Gillibrand previously secured $10.7 million for BC Transit in the CARES Act, $2,390,194 in the American Rescue Plan, to keep the transit service operating and safe during the COVID pandemic and to help stave off fare hikes for riders. Additionally, Schumer, in 2014, pushed the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) for $4 million in federal funding for BC Transit to purchase 10 newer, more environmentally-friendly buses.

Broome County has a long history of supporting mass transit, operating the first electric trolley in New York state in 1887. B.C. Transit was created in 1968 and has continued to serve Broome County ever since.

Senator Schumer’s letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pushing for the funding awarded today appears below:

Dear Secretary Buttigieg:

I am pleased to write on behalf of Broome County Transit’s (BC Transit) application for funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No Emission Program. This funding is critical to the support of local manufacturing jobs and the advancement of eco-friendly public transportation infrastructure in Broome County.

Broome County is the heart of New York’s Southern Tier, with a rapidly developing economic center in the City of Binghamton and Endicott, and developing manufacturing and agricultural sectors in the surrounding more rural areas. The geographic diversity of the county makes BC Transit’s services a lifeline for the residents of Broome County who rely on the robust bussing infrastructure for their daily needs and commutes.

BC Transit has put together a comprehensive plan to improve services and support the regional economy by transitioning to zero-emission bus technology with the backing of local manufacturers. BAE Systems has a strong presence in Broome County offering high-skilled manufacturing job opportunities and innovative product development that supports environmentally sustainable infrastructure. With funding through the Low or No Emission Vehicle Program, BC Transit will be able acquire six (6) longrange battery electric, zero emission buses featuring powertrain components made in Broome County by BAE Systems, supporting the local industrial sector while simultaneously expanding the amount of energy efficient transit vehicles in their fleet. These zero-emission buses will replace older diesel buses and will reduce BC Transit’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 416 tons; a tremendous benefit to the environment and health of the local community.

As we work to combat climate change, further innovations for eco-friendly public transit and transportation infrastructure will be critical to a cleaner future. I applaud BC Transit for its continued commitment to providing robust transportation to the residents of Broome County and hope it’s application for funding meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my grants coordinator in our Washington, DC office at 202-224-6542.