ODOT awards $11.5 million to RTA to replace aging Rapid cars, secure natural gas buses

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) yesterday, Aug. 24 announced it was awarded $11.5 million from two Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) transit funding programs to replace transit cars and to improve its fleet of buses.

An $8 million award from ODOT’s Ohio Transit Partnership Program (OTP2) will go towards GCRTA’s Rail Car Replacement Program.

“This is the third year that ODOT has awarded funding to the Rail Car Replacement Program and brings the total ODOT funding to $21.4 million,” GCRTA Deputy general manager of engineering & project management Mike Schipper said in a statement. “With this award GCRTA has now raised $197.5 million of the $300 million total program budget.”

Additionally, an award of $3.5 million from ODOT’s Urban Transit Program (UTP) will go toward GCRTA’s Bus Improvement Program to replace six 40-foot diesel buses with six environmentally friendly 40-foot Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered buses.

“This funding will assist GCRTA in moving forward in our plans to upgrade our rail and bus fleets,” GCRTA general manager and CEO India Birdsong said in a statement. “Funding opportunities such as these underscore the importance of public transportation to our region and subsequent investment in our communities. We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this round of funding and appreciate ODOT’s continued support of our Rail car and Bus Replacement programs.”