BRYAN/COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS: Brazos Transit District (BTD) orders three electric zero-emission buses for Texas A&M University (TAMU) that will be operated by their Transportation Services in Bryan/College Station. These electric buses are being purchased with funds awarded to BTD through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, (BUILD) Grant program. BTD was fortunate enough to be one of only 91 BUILD Grants awarded nationwide. Of those grants, 5 were awarded in The State of Texas. Only 1 of the Texas awards was given to a public transportation provider.
In December of 2018 BTD was awarded $17,562,500.00 from the Department of Transportation (DOT) BUILD Grant to replace eight BTD Fixed Route buses as well as twenty-one diesel buses and three 40’ fully electric buses for TAMU’s Transportation Services to improve the performance, efficiency, and capacity of both fleets in Bryan/College Station. BTD enlisted Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to assist with the grant writing component of applying for the BUILD Grant. Once the grant writing was completed BTD in partnership with TAMU applied for the BUILD Grant. Due in part to the strong support from local, state and federal officials, BTD was a 2018 BUILD Grant Recipient.
Since receiving the award of BUILD, BTD has been working very closely with the hard-working staff at Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Region 6 office on all the needed components necessary to finalize a Paper Grant Agreement with the Department of Transportation. Effective October 8, 2019 the Paper Grant Agreement for the 2018 BUILD Grant was officially executed by BTD, FTA, and DOT. With the signing of the Paper Grant Agreement BTD has cleared another major milestone through the BUILD Grant process. Upon receipt of the executed agreement, FTA gave BTD the green light to move forward with the procurement component of the BUILD Grant. For the procurement process BTD will place an order for the eight Fixed Route buses on an existing contract that was awarded in 2018 to New Flyer. BTD will issue an open and competitive RFP for the twenty-one 40’ TAMU buses. Through the efforts of FTA and TxDOT, BTD has been given the go ahead to purchase the three electric buses from a cooperative purchasing program vetted by the State.
One of the most exciting elements of BTD’s BUILD Grant is the purchase of the dedicated electric buses. These will be the first fully dedicated all-electric public transit buses in Bryan/College Station. The electric buses release zero tailpipe emissions, require less maintenance, and use no liquid fuels.
“Brazos Transit District is committed to the future of public transit in Bryan/College Station, and this is a step towards implementing the use of innovative technology, while continuing to move towards a more efficient and environmentally sustainable transit system.”John McBeth, CEO/President