(TOLEDO, Ohio) – Funding from the Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund will help TARTA upgrade a portion of its fleet.
This week, the Authority was awarded $361, 807 to cover some of the cost for two electric powered vehicles. This will give TARTA the chance to replace two, much older vehicles that are still on the road.
And with well over half of TARTA buses eligible for retirement, a little bit goes a long way in this case.
“We’re excited. It will definitely be something new for us and it presents some new opportunities for our staff and passengers,” superintendent of maintenance, Tim Rowe, said.
The Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund is through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and it helps fund projects in Ohio to replace or repower eligible on-road vehicles and off-road fleets and equipment.
A total of $13 million in grants will be awarded to 41 entities, including more than a dozen Ohio school districts, to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles and equipment.
Nitrogen oxide emissions are significant contributors to ground-level ozone pollution.
“These funds will help local communities replace school buses and trucks powered by aging diesel engines in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for ozone,” said Governor DeWine. “By replacing these old vehicles with new, clean models, we will reduce pollution to help create a healthier environment for everyone.”
“These funds allow Ohio EPA to address large emission sources like locomotives, tugboats, and diesel cargo handling equipment,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson.
“TARTA is very excited to be the recipient of funding for two electric powered transit buses from the Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund, which will provide a much-needed replacement for two of our older buses in our fleet,” interim general manager, Stacey Clink said. “We are also thrilled that during this time when we are struggling with inadequate local funding, we were able to leverage Urban Transit Program dollars from ODOT as the local share for the new vehicles.”
Over the years, the organization has prided itself on finding ways to operate green facilities and fleets through new construction and innovative fuel initiatives. The addition of electric vehicles is in line with TARTA’s continued efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.
In 2011, TARTA was certified a 1-star level fleet and is recognized as 1 of the 100 Ohio Green Fleets. Since then, electric vehicle technology has advanced so much that the cost of one is estimated to be less than that of a diesel vehicle, resulting in cost savings.
“TARTA has always been involved with environmentally positive projects and sustainability through our solar projects, green initiatives in our TARPS facility and through the use of biodiesel fuel. TARTA is thrilled to be able to obtain new vehicles through grant funding and we are thrilled to be embarking on further promoting the improvement of air quality in our service district using the electric vehicles,” Clink adds.
Ohio EPA estimates this year’s grants will remove 49.8 tons of nitrogen oxide and 23.3 tons of other air pollutants annually.
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