Gainesville’s RTS wins $26.4 million federal grant to help buy hybrid buses 

Three Regional Transit System buses lined up at the Rosa Parks Transfer Station in Gainesville.
The RTS will use the majority of a new federal grant to replace some of its older diesel buses with hybrid electric buses.
File Photo by Camille Broadway

A $26.4 million federal grant will help Gainesville’s Regional Transit System (RTS) buy full-sized hybrid electric buses and build a solar-generating facility. 

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the grant Tuesday as part of a $1.5 billion package aimed to modernize U.S. bus systems. Gainesville is one of 117 communities across the country and seven in Florida receiving funds in the third round of the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities

The largest portion of the grant — $21.9 million — will go to help RTS buy full-sized hybrid electric buses. The $4.5 million remainder of the grant will be used to build a solar-generating facility at the RTS administration complex, according to a press release from the city of Gainesville. 

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“This significant investment in clean energy technologies underscores our commitment to building a more sustainable future for our community,” Gainesville City Manager Cynthia W. Curry said in the press release.  

The new grant is the transportation system’s largest single award to date. The city expects the new buses could arrive as early as 2026 and will replace older diesel buses in the city’s fleet. 

RTS already owns five hybrid-diesel buses and four battery electric buses.  

“This funding will truly help us better serve our neighbors who rely on RTS for safe, efficient and reliable transportation every single day,” Mayor Harvey Ward said in a press release. 

Once built, the solar power facility will help charge the electric buses in the fleet and provide energy to the city. 

According to the FTA, the bus purchases are also designed to support American manufacturers with an estimated 1,100 buses to be purchased from U.S. facilities using the grant money. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is helping agencies replace old buses running on dirtier, expensive fuels by delivering modern and zero-emission busses, manufactured by American workers, that will connect more people to where they need to go,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an FTA press release. 

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Hurry and spend that money on oversized buses before RTS is downsized , reorganized and sold for pennies on the dollar. Do what you do Best! Spend other peoples money .