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After Delivering Historic Federal Funding To CDTA, Capital Region Will Now Get Major Boost To Purchase Game Changing 12 New Electric Buses To Help Reach Lower Emissions Goals

Reps Secure Highly Competitive Federal “Low & No Emission Grant” For CDTA To Accelerate Electrification Goals With New Buses And Charging Infrastructure   

Schumer, Gillibrand, Tonko: The Capital Region Just Got Put In The Fast Lane For Clean Transportation Revolution!

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko today announced $25,417,053 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Low and No Emission Vehicle Grant Program for the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA). The lawmakers explained that this funding is a direct result of transportation funding increases they secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, and will allow the CDTA to purchase 12 new electric buses and expand their charging infrastructure to reduce emissions, fight climate change, and give Capital Region residents a cleaner commute.

“The Capital Region just got put in the fast lane for a clean transportation revolution and this massive federal boost is going to supercharge the local fight against climate change with 12 spanking new, clean electric buses,” said Senator Schumer. ““I am proud to have paved the way for today’s tremendous investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law. This funding will keep the wheels of our local economy rolling and put Capital Region residents on the road to a brighter future while also giving residents a safer, faster, and cleaner commute.”

“CDTA provides critical services to millions of commuters in the Capital Region,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will help CDTA continue to provide fast, efficient service while reducing greenhouse emissions. I fought to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to provide funding for investments in innovative clean transit projects like this one and I’ll keep working to make sure that New York State remains a leader in sustainable development and the fight against climate change.”

“Investments in clean public transportation have powerful, lasting benefits for our businesses and workers, and on the health of our communities and environment,” Congressman Paul Tonko said. “I have fought tirelessly to strengthen our Capital Region’s electric bus infrastructure, from pushing for our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to expanding CDTA services to Montgomery County, to championing EV provisions in our latest Inflation Reduction Act. I was proud to herald the House passage of funding for CDTA’s electric buses last year, and I am delighted to announce the arrival of these funds today—which represent a huge win for our communities, our economy and our planet. I won’t stop working to ensure our local transit agencies have the resources they need to serve our Capital Region and all who call it home.”

Carm Basile, CDTA CEO said, “I want to thank Senator Chuck Schumer and our Capital Region delegation for advancing the needs of CDTA. We cannot develop a more sophisticated and advanced transit system without the help of elected leaders at all levels and especially our champion of transit Senator Schumer. This $25 million dollar investment is a game changer for CDTA and the electrification of our fleet. This project will help us to upgrade key infrastructure components that are needed to meet the state’s electrification goals by 2025. At CDTA, we are continually looking at ways to enhance the mobility landscape in our region, and that includes, electric buses, bikes and carshare. Thank you to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko for their leadership in creating a greener footprint for the Capital Region.” 

Specifically, this funding will help the CDTA to upgrade its electrical and structural infrastructure at its Albany facility. These upgrades will provide the support needed to fully charge 25% of its bus fleet. These important upgrades include three charging containers to power 61 overhead pantographs, backup power generation, a charge management system, and 12 new clean electric buses.

Today’s investments are the product of months of advocacy by Schumer, Gillibrand, and Tonko to increase funding for transportation through the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law which included $5.6 billion over five years, or about $1.1 billion per year   for the Low and No Emission Vehicle Grant Program that made this funding possible. Furthermore, in the FY 22 Appropriations budget, they secured an additional $75 million for the program in this year alone. In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act the representatives were also able to directly deliver an estimated $113.9 million for the CDTA over the next 5 years. The CDTA estimates that their annual allotment over the previous 5 years has been $21.2 million and under the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law that would increase to $27.1 million, roughly a 30% increase.

Since the start of the pandemic Schumer, Gillibrand and Tonko have fought hard to prioritize relief for Upstate New York transit systems so that they could not only make up for tremendous revenue losses during the height of COVID, but invest in their services to better service the community. The lawmakers secured over $42.7 million for CDTA through the CARES Act, $28 million for transit in the Albany region through the FY21 COVID Omnibus (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021), and an additional $51 million through the American Rescue Plan. Late last year, Schumer also secured a historic $61 million through the USDOT’s Capital Investments Grant (CIG) Program for the CDTA to expand its Albany Washington/Western Bus Rapid Transit project, which extended from the downtown Albany Bus Terminal, through the SUNY Albany and the Harriman State Office Complex, to the Crossgates Mall. These historic funding increases have also enabled the groundbreaking of CDTA’s Gateway Mobility Hub in downtown Schenectady a first-of-its-kind transit center that will be a one stop for DRIVE (car share), CDPHP Cycle! (bike share), and SCOOT (scooters) programs, and will support the upcoming expansion of CDTA service into Montgomery County.

This funding also comes on the heels of Schumer, Gillibrand, and Tonko passing the largest investment in history for fighting climate change with the Inflation Reduction Act. This bill includes over $1 billion for clean buses, garbage trucks, and other vehicles. Plus, tens of billions in investment and production tax credits to accelerate U.S. manufacturing of clean energy, and new clean vehicle tax credits to bring down the upfront cost of clean vehicles for individuals and families.