Wave Transit announced Monday that it had received a $3.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Authority to purchase nine compressed natural gas buses.
Last week, the federal agency announced that it had awarded $264 million for 139 projects in 52 states and territories through its Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program. The projects selected aim to improve the safety and reliability of America's bus systems and enhance the mobility of transit riders across the country.
"Wave Transit is the only mode of transportation for many in southeastern North Carolina and news buses will dramatically improve reliability for our 1.4 million annual passengers," said Billy Bryden, chairman of the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority. "The award will allow the Authority to continue its diesel bus replacement program with environmentally friendly and efficient compressed natural gas buses."
The new buses will replace aging ones in the Wave Transit's fixed route fleet as well as those used to serve the Downtown Trolley initiative. The 9 new buses will be purchased over a 26-month period.
Executive Director Albert Eby said 48 percent of Wave's buses have exceeded their useful life of twelve years or 500,000 miles.
"This important infrastructure investment will allow the Authority to purchase new buses that are less expensive to maintain, more reliable, dramatically improve air quality, and offer our passengers a better commuting experience," Eby said.