July 31, 2020

Congressman Neguse Secures Increased Funds for Low or No Emission Bus Grant Program in FY2021 Appropriations Bill

House appropriations legislation includes additional $50 million for the successful public transportation program

Washington D.C.— Congressman Joe Neguse has secured a significant funding increase in the Low or No Emission (Low-No) grant program in the FY2021 budget. In March, he sent a letter alongside Congresswoman Julia Brownley and 27 other Members of Congress, urging increased funding for the competitive grant program, noting that the program “gives states and municipalities critical funding to transition their buses and bus systems away from fossil fuels.” H.R. 7617, the Appropriations Minibus which passed the House today, includes a $50 million increase above current funding levels in Fiscal Year 2020, due to Congressman Neguse’s advocacy.

“Climate change is the existential threat of our time, one that requires us to take action in every aspect of our policy making. As we make much-needed investments in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and transportation systems, it’s essential these investments consider the climate crisis and put us on track to lower emissions” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Across the 2nd district, many of our cities and counties are setting ambitious local renewable energy goals, and the Low or No Emission grant program, and others like it, will ensure our communities are equipped to meet those goals and combat the crisis.”

“Additional funding for the Low-No Emission Bus grant program will help cities like Fort Collins accelerate our efforts to transition our transit fleets to zero-emission vehicles, helping us achieve our ambitious and critical climate action goals faster,” said Kristin Stephens, Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmember for the City of Fort Collins. 

“The Town of Breckenridge has used our $1 million dollar grant to purchase 2 new Proterra 100% electric buses. These new buses are a huge step towards our sustainability goals….and make a great statement to our visitors about our commitment to the environment,” said Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula. 

The transportation sector is responsible for the largest portion of United States greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, making up 29 percent of total GHG emissions as of 2017. The Low-No grant program, run by the Federal Transit Administration, helps to support local and nationwide initiatives to transition away from fossil fuel buses through the purchase or lease of lower or zero-emission transit vehicles.

Since its establishment, the Low-No program has provided over $300 million in funding for low or no emission buses across the country. In 2018, Eagle County Regional Transportation Authority received $1.3 million, Breckenridge’s “Electric Breck” plan received $1 million, and Estes Park received $403,266. In 2017, the Town of Vail and City of Boulder also received funding to replace diesel buses. In December, Congressman Neguse secured $2 million in funding from the Department of Transportation for Breckenridge, CO to replace diesel-powered buses with battery-electric vehicles and charging stations, through a different grant program at the FTA, the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.