County Connection Awarded FTA Grant – County Connection

County Connection Awarded FTA Grant

County Connection Among FTA’s Low-No Emissions Grant Awardees

Agency receives nearly $2,700,000 for four electric buses and five chargers.

CONCORD, Calif. – County Connection (Central Contra Costa Transit Authority) has been awarded $2,684,311 from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase four all-electric buses that will use wireless power transfer technology enabling both depot plug-in charging and en-route fast-charging that can extend battery life and support a greater range for each bus between depot visits.  The electric buses will replace four diesel buses, which have been in service since 2002 and have logged more than 500,000 miles each.  The diesel buses consume a combined 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.  The new buses will prevent just over 300 metric tons of CO2-equivalent (CO2-e) emissions and 0.090 metric tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from being emitted into the atmosphere each year. In addition, the annual amount of 2.042 metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 0.156 metric tons of hydrocarbons (HC), and 1.107 metric tons of carbon monoxide (CO) emissions will also be prevented, as a result of the new buses.

“County Connection is very pleased to be one of 20 transit agencies in the United States to be selected through a competitive process to receive this project grant,” said County Connection Board Chair and Town of Danville Mayor and Council Member Robert Storer.  “Battery-electric buses are much quieter than diesel buses and can help County Connection reach its goal to integrate a new generation of advanced, non-polluting transit buses into our fleet and reduce diesel emissions.”

The grant is provided through FTA’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (Low-No). County Connection’s funding share is a portion of $55 million in competitive grants FTA offers to public transit agencies nationwide.  County Connection will put the grant towards four 29-foot wireless all electric battery powered buses. The electric propulsion system is being supplied by New York-based BAE Systems out of New York.  East Bay Area manufacturer Gillig Corporation will build the four buses. In addition to the bus purchases, the grant will also be used for the infrastructure required to operate the buses. The buses will be charged using wireless power transfer technology purchased from Salt Lake City-based Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification Inc. (WAVE), which will provide County Connection with four depot chargers and one on-route charger.  The anticipated cost of the entire project is $4,894,500. The balance of the project will be funded through a mix of public transit grants through state and federal sources. The first of the new buses will be in service by mid-2017.

“This important step toward reduced greenhouse gas emissions is the result of the successful combination of effort and partnership between County Connection, the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), BART, PG&E, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Gillig Corporation, BAE Systems, and WAVE, Inc.,” adds Storer. “We also have to acknowledge the support and encouragement of Congressmen Mark DeSaulnier, Eric Swalwell, and Mike Thompson.  The single-minded pursuit of all of these groups and individuals make it possible for County Connection to incorporate innovative, energy-efficient buses to help improve air quality and reduce our dependence on oil.”

The grant will enable County Connection to implement its second all electric vehicle project and continue to deliver on the agency’s long-term plan to provide reliable transit service in efficient vehicles that eliminate diesel emissions.  The first project includes the replacement of four diesel-powered downtown Walnut Creek trolleys with four wireless electric trolleys, also being built by Gillig with BAE supplying the propulsion system and inductive chargers using the WAVE system.  The first of the new trolleys is expected to be in service by early November 2016.

More information about the FTA grants under MAP-21, including the Low-No program that focuses on deploying the cleanest and most energy-efficient U.S.-made transit buses designed to cut carbon pollution and other traditional pollutants, can be found by visiting:

About County Connection

County Connection operates a fleet of 112 clean diesel and 9 hybrid diesel buses in fixed-route service and 55 gas-powered vans in door-to-door service.  For assistance or for more information on bus routes, please visit or call Customer Service at (925) 676-7500.