An MTS electric bus. Courtesy of the transit authority
San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System Friday was awarded $33.5 million in state grant funding to help its efforts to transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2040 and other major improvement projects.
The California State Transportation Agency gave the award through its competitive grant, the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program.
TIRCP funding is intended to advance MTS goals, including expansion of the 12th and Imperial Transit Center in Downtown, improvements to trolley stations along the Orange Line and implementation of its Zero Emission Bus Transition Plan.
“We are very excited and grateful to our state officials for investing in San Diego’s transit future and our communities,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS CEO. “The money from this grant will allow us to continue to modernize our system, rehabilitate and replace aging infrastructures, enhance safety for our riders and increase ridership.”
TIRCP is part of a statewide program that “puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities,” a statement from MTS said.
In October 2020, MTS adopted a plan to convert its entire bus fleet to zero emissions by 2040. Earlier this year, MTS broke ground on the largest overhead charging bus system in the state at its South Bay Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in Chula Vista. This bus division will begin to serve the new Rapid Iris route in the South Bay early next year.
City News Service contributed to this article.