WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced a $5.7 million investment for the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (GDRTA) to replace outdated buses with new, innovative duel battery and electric-wire powered buses. The new buses will improve service for riders, cut down on costs, and modernize the bus fleet. The funding for GDRTA was made possible by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Buses and Bus Facilities competitive grant program, which Brown secured in a transportation infrastructure bill signed into law in 2015. The federal investment announced today will help GDRTA purchase five new “NexGen” buses.
“Miami Valley riders rely on the Greater Dayton RTA to get to work or school and then back home again,” said Brown. “This investment will help improve the local bus system for these riders and cut costs for GDRTA and the Dayton community, as Ohio continues its leadership in developing the next generation of zero-emission buses.”
“I am very excited to receive the news that our NexGen Project was selected by the Federal Transit Administration for funding this year. These dual mode electric buses will replace 20-year-old units and are capable of operating on RTA’s electric infrastructure or off-wire for up to 20 miles in battery mode. This flexibility will allow us to replace diesel routes with zero emission technology. The continued support of Senator Brown for transit is greatly appreciated in the Dayton region,” said GDRTA CEO Mark Donaghy.
The NexGen bus program aims to convert GDRTA’s outdated fleet to the new model fleet that is both cheaper to operate and more efficient. NexGen buses are also expected to last longer and cost less to maintain. GDRTA will also contribute $1.4 million in local funding toward the project. GDRTA will convert two routes from diesel back to electric operation once all NexGen units are delivered.
Brown – who serves as the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees DOT’s Federal Transit Administration – has championed federal investment to modernize bus facilities and replace outdated buses. In April, Brown announced $2.3 million for GDRTA to help modernize its diesel bus fleet.