Monday, July 22, 2024

Wave Transit to acquire 5 low-emission vehicles with $3M federal grant

Wave Transit received a nearly $3 million federal grant to purchase four buses and one shuttle that run on compressed natural gas. (Port City Daily/file)

WILMINGTON — Cape Fear’s local public transportation entity will soon near its goal to operate more greener vehicles around town due to federal funding.

Wave Transit was awarded $2.68 million from the Federal Transportation Administration’s Low Emissions-No Emissions grant program. With it, the agency plans to purchase five low-emission buses, which run on compressed natural gas.

The new vehicles — 29-feet long, which is shorter than the rest of the fleet — will be used on four fixed bus routes and include one shuttle. Once in service by the end of 2024, Wave Transit’s entire fixed route fleet will be powered by greener sources, completing the transition from diesel that began in 2012. The additional compressed natural gas shuttle takes the shuttle fleet to 60% green.

“Sustainable transportation is a key tenet of the City’s Sustainability Program,” Wilmington City Manager and Wave Transit Board Chair Tony Caudle said in a release. “We appreciate Wave Transit’s shared focus on greener transit and look forward to the benefits of smaller, greener buses on our streets.”

Wave Transit submitted the application in March, along with the required $405,000 match.

Last week, the FTA announced 130 awards for transit programs, doling out $1.7 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Wave was chosen out of 475 eligible projects and received the full amount requested — third highest behind NCDOT and the City of Charlotte.

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