Two San Diego County public transit agencies received roughly $8.5 million from the state’s Department of Transportation to purchase more than a dozen new zero-emission buses, Caltrans announced Thursday.

Caltrans awarded $2,246,545 to the North County Transit District and $6,248,084 to San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System to purchase zero-emission buses — six for the NCTD and 11 for the MTS, which will also use a portion of its funding to purchase technology like electric chargers for its bus depot to expand zero-emission bus service throughout the agency’s fleet.

The awards are part of a $146 million grant package from the state’s Low Carbon Transit Operations Program, which funds projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the utilization of public transit. According to Caltrans, more than 160 of the 180 projects to receive funding will be completed in low-income and disadvantaged areas of the state.

“Our current transportation system is congested and impacts the health of our communities and our planet,” Caltrans Acting Director Bob Franzoia said. “This funding gets people out of their cars by providing newer and cleaner ways to travel.”

–City News Service

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