Biden Administration Buying Electric Buses For Iowa

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By Ty Rushing

June 27, 2023

The Biden administration is helping Iowa get its public transportation up to current standards by directing $43 million to the state for electric buses and related infrastructure. 

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Monday 130 awards totaling nearly $1.7 billion to fund transit projects in 46 states and territories, including Iowa’s eight-digit sum.

Three entities in Iowa received funding, including the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) on behalf of five smaller transit authorities.

Iowa City will receive $23.2 million in funding to buy electric buses to replace older diesel vehicles that have exceeded their useful life and replace its operations and maintenance facility, which was originally constructed in the 1980s.

The DOT will receive $17.8 million to buy battery-electric buses to replace older diesel buses, along with charging equipment. The project will also support the construction of transit facilities and workforce development activities.

The five smaller agencies receiving those funds from the DOT are the:

  • Coralville Transit System;
  • Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency (HIRTA), which serves Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Story, and Warren counties;
  • Municipal Transit Administration of Clinton; 
  • River Bend Transit, which serves Cedar, Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott counties, and;
  • Southwest Iowa Transit Agency (SWITA), which serves Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby counties.

Lastly, Dubuque’s The Jule transit system will receive $2.3 million in funding to buy battery-electric buses and charging equipment.

According to the FTA, all the buses will be manufactured with American parts and labor and will either be low- or no-emission models. 

“Every day, over 60,000 buses in communities of all sizes take millions of Americans to work, school, and everywhere else they need to go,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, in a release. “Today’s announcement means more clean buses, less pollution, more jobs in manufacturing and maintenance, and better commutes for families across the country.”

 

by Ty Rushing
06/27/23

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  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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