U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's office announces $5.6 million grant for cleaner Tucson buses

The office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords today announced that Tucson’s Sun Tran bus system has been awarded more than $5.6 million in federal funds to buy new buses that run on cleaner natural gas and to build a new natural gas refueling station.
“We are pleased that the U.S. Department of Transportation agreed with our office that this is an important investment for the city of Tucson,” said Pia Carusone, chief of staff for Giffords. “The transit system is crucial to many Tucsonans and this will allow Sun Tran to put more clean-running buses on the road.”
Some $3.7 million was awarded to Sun Tran to buy new buses that run on compressed natural gas, replacing older diesel buses that are beyond their useful lives. An additional $1.9 million will allow the city to replace an inefficient 20-year-old natural gas fueling system. The total amount awarded to the city is $5,617,650.
Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup was thrilled at today’s announcement.
“We are grateful to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Federal Transit Administration officials Administrator Peter Rogoff and Region 9 Administrator Leslie Rogers for this grant that allows us to continue to upgrade our bus fleet with cleaner-burning fuel,” said Walkup. “We also appreciate the support of our congressional delegation, including the Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Rep. Raùl Grijalva who understand the importance this program plays in stimulating jobs while protecting the environment.”
The grant is from the Federal Transit Administration. The process was highly competitive with the agency receiving 839 applications seeking $4.9 billion. About 300 projects were funded for a total of $928.5 million.

This article was first published by Gabrielle Gifford.

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