Press Release8/18/2022

COTA Receives $26.7 Million in Federal Grants to Add 28 Battery-Electric Transit Vehicles to Green Fleet

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) has been awarded a $26.7 million Low or No Emission (Low/No) grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to assist with sustainability goals including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Low/No Grant Program makes funding available to help COTA and other transit agencies across the country buy or lease U.S.-built low-or-no-emission vehicles, including related equipment or facilities.

“This investment will allow COTA to replace 28 diesel transit vehicles with battery-electric transit vehicles, supporting our efforts to have a fully no- or low-emission fleet by 2025 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045,” said Joanna M. Pinkerton, President/CEO of COTA. “These electric vehicles will operate across Central Ohio, ensuring we do our part to provide the public health benefits of clean-fuel transportation. We appreciate the work done by our congressional delegation in supporting COTA in our role to help our community pivot towards a safer, sustainable future.”

COTA is committed to moving Columbus and Central Ohio forward, sustainably. In 2013, COTA began moving its fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG), gradually replacing its diesel vehicles. That transition has already resulted in an 11 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for COTA’s fleet. The transition from diesel to CNG also means a 73 percent reduction in particle pollution, and by working through the EPA, COTA is able to calculate a benefit of about $10 million to Franklin County through that reduction in particle pollution since 2013.

COTA plans to only purchase zero-emission vehicles for its fixed-route service moving forward. COTA will have 10 electric transit vehicles by the end of 2022, with 14 arriving in 2023 and 14 in 2024. Beginning in 2025, COTA plans to purchase 28 electric transit vehicles each year. The overall goal is to achieve net-greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. COTA continues to explore other zero-emission technologies, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez recently visited COTA and took a tour of the West Broad Street Corridor on one of COTA’s new battery electric coaches.

“When a transit door opens, whether it is a bus, train, or ferry, it is a great equalizer for everyone in our nation,” said Administrator Fernandez. “With this tremendous amount of funding, President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law gives more Americans access to the opportunities that transit creates, more often, in more places. These investments also help us meet our goals of cutting transportation emissions, creating good-paying American manufacturing jobs, and helping America’s transit workers prepare for new vehicle technology.”