The U.S Transportation Department has said that it is awarding $1.66 billion in grants to cities and states to buy 1,800 buses in the shift to cleaner, lower-emission travel.  

The grants will fund 1,100 zero-emission buses which will nearly double the existing 1,300 zero-emission transit buses, said the White house. 

The funding for 150 bus fleets from the $1 trillion 2021 infrastructure law will help cities and states retire older polluting buses. The funding will also buy 700 buses, which will include hybrid-electric, natural gas and diesel models.  

“These grants are going to be used in every corner of this country” said Mitch Landrieu, the White House Infrastructure coordinator. 

In the US, buses account for about half of the 10 billion U.S transit trips Americans took in 2019, however, there are still very few green buses, just 185 of the 72,000 U.S transit buses were hybrid electric in 2020. 

Public transport has been hit greatly by the pandemic as tens of millions of Americans worked from home and were unable to travel into work and internationally. 

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the busiest U.S transit system will receive $116 million to buy about 230 electric buses to replace older diesel ones, electrifying nearly 4 percent of its 58000-bus fleet.  

The infrastructure law provides $5.5 billion over five years for bus grants, six times prior funding levels and $2 billion for buying and rehabilitating buses and building bus maintenance facilities. 

The mobility industry takes a particular focus on electrifying cars and micro mobility; however, public transport and fleets get lost in the discussion.  

Companies such as Novabus are offering fleets that are all-electric across North America and Canada, making cities greener and more sustainable. Furthermore, Metbus is a South American company that is the first electric fleet in the whole of Santiago. Electric fleets for public transport are spreading across the U.S and will be a pivotal step in the path to zero-emissions.