Lextran getting funds from state to replace six old diesel buses

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Lextran is receiving funds for the state to buy cleaner emission transit buses. Photo: WDKY/Chelsea Jones(WDKY)

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDKY) – Lextran is receiving funds for the state to buy cleaner emission transit buses.

Gov. Andy Beshear and other state leaders on Tuesday announced $8.5 million in transportation funding to replace about 170 buses and support other efforts to expand reliable and sustainable transportation in Kentucky.

The funds are part of the $20.3 million awarded to Kentucky under the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. In 2016, the United States settled claims against Volkswagen for using defeat devices in 2009-2016 Volkswagen diesel vehicles. These devices allowed the vehicles to emit up to 40% more nitrogen oxide than allowed under the Clean Air Act.

“We held Volkswagen accountable for deceiving consumers and now we are using those funds to build a better Kentucky with safe, reliable transportation to help Kentuckians get to work, to the doctor and to the grocery store,” said Gov. Beshear. “This funding will reduce pollution to create cleaner air and improve transportation options in four regions of the commonwealth.”

In addition, the Volkswagen Mitigation Fund will also cover some Kentucky school districts’ reimbursement for up to 50% of the cost of replacing up to five buses.

“We estimate approximately 170 buses can be replaced with this allocation of Volkswagen Mitigation Funds,” said Secretary Goodman. “What a difference that will make for our air quality, and for the children who ride those school buses every day.”

Transit awards are as follows:

  • Transit Authority of River City (TARC), in Jefferson County, will receive $4.7 million to replace 45 older buses with cleaner, more fuel-efficient buses.
  • Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) will receive $2.1 million to replace six older diesel buses with new diesel buses.
  • Lextran, in Lexington, will receive $1.5 million to replace six older diesel buses with four new natural gas and two all-electric buses.
  • Owensboro Transit System will receive $156,403 to replace one older bus with a new all-electric bus.

An additional $3 million in Volkswagen mitigation settlement funding is being allocated to zero-emission vehicle equipment. Based on input received from the public, the Cabinet is recommending that 75% of those funds go toward the purchase of DC (direct current) fast-charging stations.

These stations will be placed along selected highways throughout Kentucky and will help establish unified electric vehicle corridors.

The remaining 25% of the funds will be used for Level Two charging stations at Kentucky State Parks, municipal government locations and local community places of interest.

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