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DOT Rolls $112M into Green Transit

Thursday, November 17, 2011

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A battery that captures power from braking trains.

Anti-idling technology on commuter rail.

A pavement ice-control system for a transit yard.

A solar canopy that generates electricity for rail operations and maintenance.

Those are just a few of the 46 transit projects that will reap green for keeping green, under $112 million in competitive grants announced Thursday (Nov. 17) by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The projects were chosen for their ability to reduce U.S. dependence on oil and create “green” jobs.

The Utah Transit Authority and the University of Utah will partner on a Wireless Power Transfer technology project involving campus shuttles.

University of Utah

The Utah Transit Authority and the University of Utah will partner on a Wireless Power Transfer technology project involving campus shuttles.

“These grants will put thousands of Americans back to work building sustainable, energy-efficient transit vehicles and facilities across the country,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in announcing the recipients of FTA’s Fiscal Year 2011 Sustainability Awards. FTA reviewed 266 project applications with more than $1 billion in funding requests from transit providers nationwide.

From Fuel Cells to Hybrids

Among the awards:

  • $6.7 million for the Long Beach (CA) Public Transportation Co. to replace 10 aging diesel buses with zero-emission, all-electric businesses along heavily traveled routes.
  • $5.7 million to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority Tri-Rail Project, for its first green, LEED-certified, sustainable stations, which will generate more than 100 percent of the station’s energy demand through solar panels.  Excess energy will be recaptured for other uses.
  • $6.4 million in two grants to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), for hybrid buses to replace diesel buses and for a “wayside energy storage system,” which uses a battery to store energy generated by braking trains. The stored power can be used whenever energy is needed.
  • $2.6 million to the Utah Transit Authority and University of Utah, to pilot Wireless Power Transfer technology, which will allow campus shuttle buses to be charged from under the roadbed during the course of their daily operations.
  • $5 million to the Connecticut Department of Transportation for a stationary fuel cell that will provide about 60 percent of the annual power needed to operate CTTransit’s New Haven Division Bus maintenance facility.

Award Criteria

The Sustainability Award initiative includes funding from the Clean Fuels Grant Program and the TIGGER III (Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction) Grant Program.

Clean Fuels Grant recipients were chosen for the project’s ability to help communities achieve or maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and carbon monoxide while supporting emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses.

TIGGER III grants were based on the project’s ability to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while providing a return on the investment. 

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff said his agency was “tapping into American innovation and ingenuity to develop and build leading-edge energy-efficient transportation technologies.”
 
He added: “These continued investments help combat the pain commuters feel at the gas pump and curb the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that pollute the air we breathe.”

   

Tagged categories: Construction; Green building; Green design; Railcars

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