JTA Buying 8 CNG Buses, 2 EV Buses With Pair Of Federal Grants

Aug 11, 2020

JTA has been awarded a $11.9 million federal grant that it will use to retire eight diesel buses and replace them with compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, which have lower CO2 emissions.

The latest funding follows an earlier grant that will be used for zero-emission transit. JTA spokesman David Cawton told WJCT News Tuesday that the transit agency is also on track to buy two 40-foot electric buses this fall.

The electric buses are part of a $1 million federal grant that was originally announced in 2017.  Those buses are expected to charged each day by solar power, making them truly emissions free.

The 2017 plan called for the EV buses to provide service to the Amazon fulfillment center on Pecan Park Road, which is currently served by conventionally powered buses on Route 82. Cawton didn't have any updates to that plan on Tuesday.

JTA is planning to purchase two GILLIG EV buses this fall. The battery-powered buses are built in California.
Credit GILLIG

Funding from the $11.9 million the Federal Transit Administration announced Tuesday will also be used to rehabilitate and upgrade JTA’s Myrtle Avenue Operations Campus.

The maintenance facility is scheduled to get new mobile column lifts for bus repairs, along with 21 electric bay doors that will replace older manual doors. Waste, oil and plumbing systems will also be rehabbed. Other equipement scheduled to be replaced at the Myrtle Avenue facility include exhaust fans, generators and the HVAC system.

“Thank you to Congressman John Rutherford, Congressman Al Lawson, FTA acting Administrator K. Jane Williams and U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for your continued investment in Jacksonville and the JTA,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. in a news release.

Florida transit agencies are receiving a total of $27.8 million in Federal Transit Administration grant money:

  • The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, which operates LYNX in Orlando, will receive $2.8 million to purchase new electric buses to replace older diesel buses.
  • The County of Collier (Collier Area Transit) will receive $9 million to purchase new buses and to rehabilitate its existing operations and maintenance building.
  • The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) will receive $2.8 million to purchase new electric buses and charging infrastructure.
  • The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), in Pinellas County will receive $1.2 million to purchase new electric buses and a new depot charging station.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

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