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Greater Dayton RTA receives $4 M in federal funds for Dual Modes

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The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, through the Ohio Department of Transportation, was awarded a $4 million federal grant Monday to purchase up to eight dual-mode, or all electric buses to replace older diesel models.

The new vehicles will be selected from two prototypes that will be tested next year by the transit authority, Mark Donaghy, executive director of the Greater Dayton RTA said.

The transit authority recently issued a request for proposals for two test buses that can run on 100 percent electric power via RTA’s network of trolley lines, but also operate on diesel fuel, off wire. The transit authority too is seeking bids for two all electric, battery-powered buses.

“In theory, there is potential we could eventually go all electric,” Donaghy said.”The question is, how far can they run without being recharged.”

The switch to electric buses would bring tremendous cost savings to RTA, which currently spends about $6 million a year on diesel fuel, Donaghy said.

He expects delivery of the prototype buses by spring of 2013 at an estimated cost of $800,000 each or $3.2 million for the four. About 83 percent of that cost will come from federal funds, and the balance will be paid by RTA.

The grant awarded Monday will fund the purchase of five to eight additional buses. Delivery on those vehicles is not expected until 2014. The additional buses will not be ordered until after the transit authority has completed the prototype testing.

RTA’s fleet of 273 buses including 24 hybrids and 54 trolleys provide about nine million passenger trips per year.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced distribution of the grants totalling $787 million on Monday that will support 255 projects national wide — including 16 in Ohio.

“For millions of Americans, these investments mean that they may more reliably and safely get to work to earn a paycheck or get to daycare to pick up their children on time, or simply have new choices to enjoy the communities in which they live,” Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff said.

The Greater Dayton RTA grant was the largest award to an Ohio transit authority



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