The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has received a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The funds from the Low or No Emission Grant Program will allow the agency to deploy two hydrogen fuel cell buses and install accompanying hydrogen-fueling infrastructure.
Since 2017, transportation has contributed to 41% of greenhouse gas emissions in Nevada. The RTC has long recognized the need to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector, and the ongoing climate crisis emphasizes the need for action. Fuel cell buses run on hydrogen, instead of gas or diesel, which does not produce greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are fully aware that transportation is a major contributor to air pollution, and this grant will help us to continue to do our part to improve air quality and reduce pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions,” says MJ Maynard, CEO of RTC.
“As an agency, we are committed to investing in clean transit technology and being innovative. We appreciate the support of our federal delegation, local leaders and business partners who advocated on our behalf,” adds Maynard.
The RTC estimates the project will cost $6 million, with a 65% federal and 35% local split. With the estimated 18-month wait time to procure hydrogen fuel cell buses, it is anticipated the vehicles will be delivered to Las Vegas Valley roads in 2022.
Since 2007, the RTC has been transitioning its fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG). Currently, the agency has 314 CNG buses, which make up 78% of its fixed-route bus fleet, with a goal of a near 100% CNG fleet by 2023.
The RTC’s paratransit fleet of more than 300 vehicles is 100% powered by CNG.