DART has received a $1.45 million Low or No Emission Grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which will be used to fund the addition of electric buses to DART’s fleet. In addition, the grant will be used to update the necessary infrastructure to support electric buses and to ensure the upgrade of several planned future DART buses to electric models. The electric bus project will take approximately 18 months to complete, with the plan of having new electric buses operating across DART’s routes in spring 2019.
DART’s receipt of this grant was due in large part to the support of Iowa’s Third District Representative, Congressman David Young, and to the commitment of MidAmerican Energy Company to provide the local match funding for the grant. Several community and business leaders across DART’s member governments also wrote letters of support for DART and for the purchase of electric buses.
“We are very grateful to Congressman Young and MidAmerican Energy for their support of the electric bus project for Greater Des Moines,” says DART CEO Elizabeth Presutti. “Public transit is essential to ensuring that the region—and Iowa—can continue to connect people to jobs and cultivate our economy. This project is an excellent public-private partnership that helps the region grow in a way that ensures long-term sustainability.”
The addition of these new electric buses and the corresponding infrastructure is consistent with several regional plans across DART’s 19 member governments. Introducing electric buses into the fleet will allow DART to meet the goals and plans that our member communities have for sustainable growth. By purchasing these electric buses, DART will be able to reduce more than three million pounds of greenhouse gas (GHG) tailpipe emissions over the lifetime of each vehicle.
DART is still finalizing the total number of electric buses it will be able to purchase with the funding made possible through this grant. We would once again like to issue a sincere thank you to all who were, including Congressman David Young, MidAmerican Energy Company and several other community and business leaders. Public-private partnerships such as these help to ensure that DART is able to provide the best possible forms of public transportation for our growing communities.