OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Media Relations Contact:
Kathy Walt or Gene Acuña
July 10, 2002
Funds To Upgrade 360 DART Buses With Advanced Emission Control Devices
Gov. Perry Announces $7.5 Million For DART Bus Conversion
DALLAS - Governor Rick Perry today awarded $7.5 million to Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to equip more than 350 buses with advanced emission control devices. The grant, made under the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, will provide DART with financial assistance to upgrade 360 diesel buses, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions from those vehicles by roughly 2000 tons and reductions in particulate matter by 88 percent over the next eight years.
"This grant is an investment in cleaner air through the innovation of clean technology," Perry said. "It will help the Metroplex meet the transportation needs of a growing population while helping to preserve the quality of the air we all breathe."
Once the project is completed, the 360 retrofitted buses will run on ultra-low-sulfur fuel and have emissions equal to or less than natural gas. Currently, 80% of DART's fleet meets Texas Clean Fuel Fleet requirements. The buses being retrofitted by DART were put in service between 1998 and 2000. The program will take about 18 months to complete and is scheduled to begin in April 2003.
Last session, lawmakers passed and Perry signed into law Senate Bill 5 creating the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan. The plan, administered by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), provides incentives for strategies such as the development and implementation of new clean air technologies, the retrofitting of diesel engines and the purchase of energy efficient equipment.
Perry said assistance offered through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan aids areas such as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in its efforts to comply with federal air quality standards.
"Failing to meet clean air standards in Texas is simply not an option," Perry said. "Not only are we committed to receiving every possible federal highway dollar available, we place the highest priority in protecting public health."
Last month, Perry directed the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to immediately begin using cleaner diesel fuel in 75 percent of its Houston district fleet to help improve air quality in Southeast Texas. The directive was one of a series of moves outlined by the governor to strengthen the state's plan to bring the Houston region into compliance with federal ozone standards by 2007.
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