Sen. Charles E. Schumer, in a visit to Buffalo Thursday, announced that he has launched a push for $12 million in federal funds for 24 new compressed natural gas-fueled buses for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. The money would be granted under the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, a five-year federal transportation bill passed by Congress in December.
The funds also would be used to install a new CNG fueling system and introduce a new bus safety training program for bus drivers. Schumer noted that, with upwards of 50 NFTA buses out of service each month, the new buses would reduce maintenance costs.
“NFTA Metro is at a pivotal moment in the management of its 314-bus fleet,” NFTA Executive Director Kimberly A. Minkel said. “As of March, Metro’s average bus fleet age is approximately 22 percent higher than the national average and 42 percent of Metro buses are beyond their 12-year federal useful life. Federal Transit Administration funding through this grant will dramatically lower Metro’s fleet age.”