July 23, 2019

Merkley, Wyden Announce Funding to Purchase New Electric Buses for TriMet

The nearly $2.1 million grant will cover half of the cost of three electric buses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a $2.1 million federal grant that will allow TriMet to purchase three new electric buses, advancing the transit authority’s goal to convert its fleet of diesel buses to zero-emissions.

“Climate chaos is threatening our future, and we need to act boldly and quickly to stop it,” Merkley said. “Electric buses mean lower operating costs, as well as better health and less pollution. This federal support will not only help reduce emissions in the Portland metro area, it will also save money. It’s common sense investment that will help build the foundation for a greener future.”

“Cleaner mass transit is a step towards kicking America’s carbon habit. I’m proud that TriMet continues to be a leader in lowering carbon emissions and addressing the long-term, very real threat of climate change,” Wyden said. “This federal investment will help expand TriMet’s electric bus fleet, curbing pollution in the Portland metro area and providing a model for other major cities to follow suit.”

“We thank the Federal Transit Administration and the Oregon Delegation for their continued support of TriMet and our ambitious efforts to provide equitable and environmentally-friendly transit services,” said TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey. “This new Lo-No grant award allows us to expand our testing of battery-electric bus technology as we are on the fast track to converting our bus fleet to non-diesel, zero-emissions vehicles by 2040 or before.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation grant will advance TriMet’s goals to incorporate zero-emission buses into its fleet. Previous federal grants have allowed TriMet to purchase 10 new electric buses. Through the grant, TriMet will also provide data on range, performance, maintenance costs and protocol to other transit agencies, helping advance nationwide conversion to electric buses.