OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City’s progress with public transit has attracted new investment in compressed natural gas (CNG). The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) announced that EMBARK will receive nearly $2 million to purchase new CNG buses.
Demand for FTA’s Bus Replacement Program far exceeded available funds; as FTA received 284 applications totaling $1.64 billion from 236 applicants in 47 states. Project proposals were evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, with priority given to projects that address significant repair and maintenance needs, improve the safety of transit systems, include advanced technologies to connect bus systems with other networks, and support the creation of ladders of opportunity.
EMBARK will use the funds to purchase six new buses to replace aging buses in the fleet. The buses will be similar to the six 40-foot CNG buses that rolled out on the street this fall.
“This grant will allow EMBARK to replace some of our oldest vehicles that are at least 12 years old with clean-energy vehicles which will help protect our community’s air quality” says Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK administrator. “EMBARK’s goal is to transition all of our buses to alternative fuels, the majority being CNG, and this grant helps us get closer to that goal.”
Earlier this year EMBARK’s governing body – Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority – approved a plan to replace its entire bus fleet to CNG or electric buses by 2025.
Since the plan has been enacted, EMBARK has already replaced six buses with CNG and is in the design phase of building a CNG fueling facility.
The CNG fueling facility is being designed by Wendel Architects and Engineers and the facility is scheduled to operate in early 2018.
“We are excited to implement our Board’s bold vision, which will have lasting effects on our community’s air quality. And a system in a state of good repair is critical to meeting the needs of our community’s transit riders and a growing population,” said Ferbrache.
EMBARK is the business unit of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) – a public trust administered by the City of Oklahoma City. EMBARK is responsible for providing safe, efficient and convenient public transportation and downtown parking solutions to the greater Oklahoma City area. EMBARK is the 2016 North America Outstanding Public Transit System of the Year.
To learn more about EMBARK and view bus schedules and routes, visit www.embarkok.com or call (405) 235-RIDE (7433) for personal assistance from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
COTPA is celebrating 50 years of leadership in providing public transit and downtown parking services to Oklahoma’s capital city.
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