SPRINGFIELD – November 15, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has been awarded a $5 million federal grant to buy up to 10 hybrid buses for Illinois communities as part of the governor’s initiative to expand green transportation throughout the state. The buses are anticipated to be delivered in 2013 to the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, the Greater Peoria Mass Transit District, the City of Galesburg, the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District and the River Valley Mass Transit District.
“Hybrid technology protects the environment and saves money,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “Everyone wins as we use this technology to replace aging buses across the state with new, reliable vehicles. I want to thank our congressional supporters and Senator Durbin for his work with us and his leadership in securing this important federal funding.”
The $5 million grant is from the Federal Transit Administration’s Clean Fuels Grant Program, a competitive program that encourages the use of clean fuel and innovative propulsion systems in buses. The new hybrid vehicles to be delivered to the five Illinois communities are powered through dual motor fuel and electrical power systems that cut the usage of fossil fuels. They will replace older buses powered by gasoline and diesel, resulting in quieter rides, savings in fuel costs to taxpayers and reductions in harmful emissions.
The buses also will be equipped with the latest in green technology, including electrified power steering and air conditioning, regenerative braking and automated systems that stop the engines when they are idling to cut down on exhaust and energy consumption.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our fleet of green transit buses throughout the state,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “By employing hybrid technology, we can provide needed public transit services with state-of-the-art vehicles while improving air quality and lowering the cost of fuel purchases.”
In addition to the $5 million for the hybrid buses, IDOT has received a $362,000 federal grant to develop a Web site to connect transportation providers with active military and veterans statewide. The new site will be the state’s first online resource center to help active military, veterans and their families address their transportation needs by offering information on transit schedules, dial-a-ride services and ride-sharing programs in their areas.