November 22, 2019 – More changes and improvements are coming to Metro Transit. On Wednesday, November 20, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that Omaha will receive $4.7 million to improve its public transportation fleet.
These funds are awarded through the FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. Approximately $97.86 million have been awarded nationwide for the 2019 fiscal year.
“I am pleased to announce that Omaha will be receiving this crucial transit grant, “ U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) said in a statement following the grant announcement. “With this investment in our state, life will be made easier for metro-area commuters, families, and businesses who use Omaha’s public bus system.”
These funds will go toward the following:
- 5 – 35’ compressed natural gas (CNG) buses
- 6 – 30’ clean diesel buses
- Replacement Bus lifts
- Upgraded fuel pumps
- Fluid and fleet management software/hardware
- Maintenance management software
The new buses will help Metro replace older buses that have reached their useful life, while also maintaining a large enough fleet for its service levels. The five CNG-fueled buses can be refueled at Metro at its recently constructed CNG fueling station.
The other funded items will help Metro staff maintain and repair its existing fleet in the most efficient manner. In turn, this helps assure reliable service for our riders.
“It is our goal to provide a reliable, convenient mode of transportation for our passengers,” said Curt Simon, Metro executive director. “With these funds, we can continue to get people where they need to go.”
This funding adds to the improvements Metro has made in the last year, including new paratransit vans, new buses, new bus shelters, real-time bus tracking, onboard Wi-Fi, and ORBT, Omaha’s first rapid transit system.