The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD), operator of the Blue Bus, will receive $5 million from the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (USDOT/FTA) as part of its low or no emissions grants program to improve service and air quality. (see more at www.transit.dot.gov/notices-funding/low-or-no-emission-program-low-no-program-fy2021-notice-funding)
The money will go toward the purchase of five electric buses and charging infrastructure, to be located in the Taos area, as well as charging equipment and workforce training in order to maintain the vehicles.
“The NCRTD is thrilled to be among the recipients of this USDOT/FTA grant to expand low or no emissions buses and facilities. We are proud to be contributing to a cleaner environment and a greener New Mexico,” exclaimed NCRTD Chair and Taos Mayor Daniel Barrone.
This follows an earlier $2.9 million FTA grant the NCRTD received for the Española area, also for the purchase of five electric buses, charging infrastructure and workforce training.
The electric buses will be placed in and around Taos and Española because of the limited driving range of the vehicles. Future plans call for expanding the purchase of charging stations that can be placed along longer routes — as well as for the total conversion to electric vehicles over the coming years.
Blue Buses Now Operating at Full Capacity
With New Mexico’s re-opening after COVID, RTD Blue Buses have eliminated capacity restrictions.
Reservations will no longer be mandatory on routes previously requiring them. Federal law still requires passengers and drivers (with limited exceptions) to wear a properly fitting mask at all times while onboard.
Social distancing is encouraged when possible.
The NCRTD will continue to take aggressive measures to clean and disinfect passenger vehicles and provide air circulation. The NCRTD provides fare-free bus service on 27 of 29 routes to a service area encompassing over 10,000 square miles of north central New Mexico, including the counties of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, and Taos.