FTA Deputy Administrator McMillan Joins SunLine Transit in Southern California to Tout Jobs and Innovation in Sustainable Transportation

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FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program Leverages Federal, Private Investments in America’s ‘Green’ Transportation Future

Contact: Paul Griffo
(202) 366-4064

THOUSAND PALMS, CA – Deputy Federal Transit Administrator Therese McMillan today joined officials from the SunLine Transit Agency for the launch of a new hydrogen-powered fuel-cell bus that will contribute to green transportation while creating thousands of manufacturing-related jobs in the United States. McMillan was joined by Cochella Mayor Eduardo Garcia along with private-industry executives and California environmental officials.

“Building sustainable, energy-efficient transit vehicles and facilities will put thousands of Americans to work and create a marketplace for valuable 21st century ‘green’ jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “But we must continue to invest in the cutting-edge transportation research and manufacturing that will keep our economy moving forward.”

The state-of-the-art, zero-emission American Fuel Cell Bus that SunLine is putting on the road is the product of an innovative federal, state and private-sector partnership. Over the last five years, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has invested more than $75 million through the National Fuel Cell Bus Program to help spur projects like this through an entire lifecycle – from the early research stage all the way to the real-world testing of commercially viable clean-fuel vehicles that deliver a reliable, dependable ride. In addition to FTA, funding partners include CALSTART, the California Air Resources Board, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“We’re putting the world on notice that American ingenuity, and American manufacturing, are alive and well—and creating good jobs here in California all across the country,” McMillan said. “FTA is enormously proud to be a catalyst spurring this industry forward, and to have SunLine on board as a willing partner.”

The American Fuel Cell bus is comprised almost entirely of American-made components by companies such as Ballard Power Systems in Lowell, MA, BAE System Controls in Johnson City, New York, and El Dorado National in Riverside, CA. At least 24 companies, in states from Texas to Minnesota to Georgia, had a hand in making the bus—creating and sustaining hundreds of good manufacturing, engineering, and assembly jobs in the process.