Contact: Paul Griffo
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today attended the unveiling of new WMATA buses and received a sneak preview of early construction on a new bus body and paint shop, all of which were paid for in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“The Recovery Act is putting people to work here in the D.C. area and in Minnesota, where these buses are manufactured,” Secretary LaHood said. “These investments mean jobs today and economic growth in the long-run.”
The 48 New Flyer diesel-electric hybrid buses, 80 paratransit vehicles and the new facility will help the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority provide safer and more reliable service. More than 30 jobs have been created in the procurement and manufacturing of the new vehicles and it is anticipated that at least another 125 jobs will be created through the construction of the bus facility.
Nearly $202 million in Recovery Act dollars was allocated to Metro, of which $52 million—nearly one quarter—was used to purchase the vehicles and construct the new shop. Metro began receiving the new diesel-electric hybrid buses and paratransit vehicles earlier this year.
“In addition to putting people in the D.C. area to work, these Recovery Act dollars will also mean Washington Metro bus riders will have a cleaner, safer ride,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “And they can be assured that by taking the bus, they are doing their part to reduce America’s dependence on oil and clean up the air.”
The new Metrobuses, manufactured by New Flyer Industries of America in Crookston, MN, are operating out of the Northern Bus Garage in Northwest Washington, DC, serving customers on Metro’s bus corridors along 16th Street and Georgia Avenue in the District of Columbia and along Colesville Road/Columbia Pike in Maryland.
Metro has a fleet of 1,518 buses, including 460 compressed natural gas (CNG), 355 diesel-electric hybrid buses, 117 clean-diesel buses and 586 diesel buses. Diesel-electric hybrid buses decrease Metro’s diesel fuel consumption and reduce emissions.