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August 16, 2022

Metro Transit to Receive Additional Federal Funding for MetroBus Battery Electric Program and New Charging Infrastructure

Metro Transit will receive a $5.4 million grant award from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to expand its battery electric bus program in the St. Louis region. The funds are part of the $1.6 billion in grant awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the FTA to transit agencies across the nation to purchase or lease new low or zero-emissions transit vehicles and to build charging infrastructure to support clean bus technology. The federal grant program will nearly double the number of no emission transit buses on America’s roadways. In the St. Louis region, this project will improve air quality and should provide a better transit experience for Metro Transit bus riders.

This is the second federal grant award notification this year for Metro Transit’s battery electric program. Both sets of federal funds are for the construction of a new bus-charging infrastructure at the DeBaliviere MetroBus facility in the City of St. Louis, and for the purchase of several new battery electric buses. The new battery electric buses will replace clean burning diesel buses scheduled for retirement as they exceed their useful life.

“We are pleased to learn of this new grant award. Battery electric buses are better for the environment and we are transitioning to new transit technologies to reduce emissions in the neighborhoods and communities we serve,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President and CEO. Bi-State Development operates the Metro Transit system in St. Louis City and St. Louis County in Missouri and in St. Clair County in Illinois.

“This new funding will enable us to expand our battery electric bus program with new vehicles for the fleet and to continue to move forward with establishing a new charging infrastructure at our MetroBus facility in the City of St. Louis, ” said Charles Stewart, Metro Transit Executive Director.

Metro owns 24 battery electric buses that are in service in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County, with overnight charging taking place at the Brentwood MetroBus facility in St. Louis County. Fourteen 60-foot battery electric buses currently operate on the #70 Grand in St. Louis, which is Metro’s busiest bus route in the region. Ten 40-foot battery electric buses operate on various routes in St. Louis and in St. Louis County. The 60-foot battery electric buses charge on the fly during the service day at the North Broadway-Taylor Transit Center and then charge overnight at the Brentwood MetroBus facility.
All new vehicles purchased for the battery electric bus fleet are zero-emission buses funded through various FTA grants (70-80%) and local sales tax sources (20-30%) and all offer similar cost savings and environmental benefits. The combination of the two federal grant awards and local matches could support the purchase of up to 12 new 40-foot battery electric buses and the charging infrastructure at the DeBaliviere MetroBus facility. Metro launched 18 of the battery electric buses into service in June 2021 in what was one of the largest initial electric bus deployments in the nation.

Metro Transit operates the St. Louis region’s main public transportation system, which includes 24 battery electric buses and nearly 400 clean-burning diesel buses that serve 59 MetroBus routes in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois. Metro also operates MetroLink light rail vehicles on 46 miles of track serving 38 stations in the two-state area, and operates Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 122 vans. Metro Transit is a Bi-State Development enterprise.

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