Federal Funds Awarded to NCTD to Purchase 8 Zero-Emission Buses

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Delivering significant air quality and operational benefits to the San Diego region

Oceanside, CA – On March 10, 2022, North County Transit District (NCTD) received notice from Congressman Mike Levin’s office that the Federal Transit Administration had awarded it a $4.8 million grant to help fund the purchase of eight hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. The grant brings NCTD closer toward achieving its goal of deploying 25 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses by March 2025.

The $4.8 million grant was awarded from the Fiscal Year 2021 Bus and Bus Facilities Program which makes federal funding available to states and direct recipients to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct bus-related facilities including technological changes or innovations to modify low or no emission vehicles or facilities.  NCTD’s project to purchase zero-emission buses aligns well with the Bus and Bus Facilities Program objectives of addressing climate change impacts by reducing harmful carbon and particulate emissions. NCTD’s grant application received strong support from local, state, and federal elected officials.

“I am very excited to see the North County Transit District receive a $4.8 million federal investment for the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, which will help reduce harmful air pollution and contribute to our fight against climate change,” said Rep. Levin. “This investment also comes in addition to funding NCTD will receive from recently passed federal funding legislation that includes $1.7 million I secured for the construction of a hydrogen fueling station. The transition to low- and zero-emission vehicles is critical to protecting the health of our community and our planet, and I am proud of NCTD for leading in this effort.”

A hydrogen fuel cell electric bus fully equipped costs approximately $1,300,000 per unit. NCTD’s Board of Directors will be asked to approve staff’s request to award a contract for the purchase of eight hydrogen vehicles at its March 17, 2022 meeting. NCTD will leverage this $4.8 million grant award with other funds to purchase eight buses.

NCTD has advanced the construction of hydrogen fueling infrastructure and other required improvements at NCTD’s West Division Facility.  The new infrastructure and improvements are anticipated to be completed in Summer 2023 ahead of the first delivery of buses that are anticipated in late summer/early fall of 2023. When completed, NCTD’s hydrogen fueling infrastructure will be able to accommodate up to 50 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses.

“NCTD remains committed to being on the forefront of zero-emissions technology, providing clean transportation choices for our customers, and improving the air quality in our communities. This grant will enable us to do just that and accelerate our transition to a zero-emission fleet,” said Jewel Edson, NCTD Board Chair and Solana Beach Council Member. “We appreciate the efforts of Congressman Mike Levin to bringing these funds to our area to benefit the region.”

For more information about NCTD’s transition to an entire zero emission fleet, view our fact sheet here.