TARC awarded $4.4 million grant for all-electric buses
Zero emissions vehicles will replace oldest trolleys downtown
September 19, 2012
All-electric buses with zero air polluting emissions will become
part of Louisville’s
public transportation fleet as a result of a $4.4 million federal
grant awarded to
“This puts TARC at the leading edge of high-technology, cleaner,
buses,” said TARC Executive Director J. Barry Barker. “We can’t
wait to get them
on the road and we think passengers will love the ride.”
The grant, from the Federal Transit Administration Clean Fuels Program,
for five electric buses that will replace the oldest, high
emissions trolleys now
circulating downtown along Fourth Street and the Main-Market
electric buses are expected to be in operation in about a year.
Congressman John Yarmuth said he was proud to support the grant
and thrilled that TARC was successful in a highly competitive
selection. Out of
146 grant applications totaling $516 million, the FTA selected 27
“This federal investment in new technologies is not just about
transportation in Louisville; it is also a down payment on
cleaner air, and a more energy independent future,” Yarmuth said.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said all-electric buses “represent a
for public transportation in downtown Louisville and the type of
forward-thinking focus we are embracing to improve our city.”
”The city’s historic replica “Toonerville” trolleys have helped
revitalization over the years and all-electric buses can help take
us to the next
level,” he said.
In a post about the grant awards on his blog, “FastLane,”, U.S.
Transportation Ray LaHood called all-electric buses “cutting-edge,
and “tailor-made for our 21st century energy future.”
TARC’s 14 diesel-fueled trolleys are the least environmentally
friendly vehicles in
the fleet. They average 14 years of age and 500,000 miles of
service, have high
maintenance costs and cannot be replaced because they are no
“The air quality improvements with the electric vehicles will be
Barker said. For example, the five oldest trolleys combined now
emit a total of
about 1,135 pounds of carbon monoxide in a year, compared to zero
from the all-electric buses.
The electric buses will also save TARC thousands of dollars each
year in lower
operating costs. In fuel costs alone, each electric bus will save
estimated $10,000 per year. The electric buses are also
expensive to maintain than trolleys.
Barker said electric bus technology has been tested and proven
type of electric bus manufactured in South Carolina can travel 30
miles on a fullycharged
battery and can be recharged in 10 minutes at an on-route charging
The FTA said it awarded grants based on a project’s ability to
achieve federal air quality standards while supporting emerging
clean fuel and
advanced propulsion technologies for transit buses.
Under previous federal grants, TARC also will add 39 new buses to
buses now operating throughout TARC’s five-county service area.
buses will include 28 diesel buses with the latest air quality and
technology and 11 hybrid-electric buses. The buses are scheduled
arriving this spring.