Colorado to Receive Transformational Investments for Green Transit in Rural Areas

News Release

August 18, 2022 - Statewide - Summit Stage largest recipient of the federal funds

Statewide - Colorado is receiving $51 million in federal funds for low- and zero-emission transit projects across the state, including a $34.8 million award to help the Summit County area transition to a 100% zero-emissions fleet.

The grants from the Federal Transit Administration, which will be partly administered through the Colorado Department of Transportation, represent the largest-ever allocation of federal funding for low- and zero-emissions transit to the state and will allow six transit agencies to enhance the reliability and environmental sustainability of their services to the traveling public.

“We are pleased to see the federal government investing in helping Colorado’s smaller and rural transit authorities electrify their fleets,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “These agencies play a critical role in providing sustainable, statewide mobility options for Coloradans, and their success competing for these grants demonstrates their national importance as well as providing some of the best rural transit in the country.”

“Colorado is home to some of the best rural and mountain transit services in the country, and CDOT is proud to serve as their partner in competing for federal funds to support fleet electrification and improved service for Coloradans,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.

Chris Lubbers, transit director for Summit Stage, the transit agency serving the Summit County region, said the infusion of nearly $35 million in funds would help construct a new charging and operations facility, key for the transit agency’s planned conversion away from diesel fuel and replacement of aging vehicles.

“This new facility and its electric charging stations will both accommodate the growth of fleet and personnel and will allow Summit Stage to meet the region's transportation goals for improving air quality, conserving energy and meeting the needs of under-served communities,” Lubbers said.

Public transit plays a critical role in providing safe, affordable and sustainable mobility options year-round to Coloradans and those who enjoy the state. Colorado has 55 transit agencies across the state that provide more than 134 million passenger trips per year. For the month of August, more than 30 public transit agencies across the state are offering free services as part of the Zero Fair for Better Air campaign, which will help improve air quality and save people money. Additionally, all Bustang, Outrider and Pegasus services are half price through Sept. 5.

In Colorado, the awards are for a total of 27 vehicles, including 14 running on compressed natural gas, five diesel, three diesel/electric hybrid, three gasoline and two battery electric. The federal funds will also help construct two new facilities to support the new clean energy fleets for years to come.

The awards include:

  • $34.8 million to Summit County for the construction of a new transit charging, operations and storage facility to support a future 100% zero emission bus fleet
  • $5.7 million to the Roaring Fork Transit Authority (RFTA) for the purchase of 10 compressed natural gas (CNG) and two diesel 40-foot transit buses
  • $3.9 million to Mesa County for the construction of a new bus maintenance facility and purchase of four CNG cutaway transit buses
  • $2.6 million to the San Miguel Authority for Regional Transit (SMART) for the purchase of two 40-foot transit buses and three transit vans
  • $2.4 million to the City of Steamboat Springs for the purchase of three 35-foot hybrid-electric transit buses and the overhaul of a regional commuter coach
  • $1.8 million to the Town of Vail for the purchase of two battery electric buses and associated charging infrastructure and workforce training

The CDOT Division of Transit and Rail will administer the awards for Summit County, RFTA, SMART, City of Steamboat Springs and Town of Vail as pass-through grant agreements, while the grant to Mesa County, as a direct recipient of the FTA, will be managed directly by the federal agency.