AC Transit, the financially beleaguered service operated by the Bay Area the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, has been awarded $6 million in federal funds for its fuel cell energy system that will provide on-site hydrogen production to power its transit fleet.
AC Transit, facing major budget deficits and unable to reach labor-savings agreements with its drivers' union, has been cutting service throughout the district, including much of its weekend service.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) announced the grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of $27 million in new federal investments for California transit systems offering "cleaner, more efficient buses and other clean energy projects."
"These investments will help make California's transit systems cleaner and more efficient, while also creating jobs in communities across our state," Boxer said.
The transportation department doled out the grant as part of its "Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction" program, also known as TIGGER II, which is funded by the federal stimulus recovery act.
Last year, California received more than $17 million for projects in Hayward, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, and San Diego as part of $100 million distributed to 43 energy-efficient technology projects nationwide, and this year, the Federal Transit Agency awarded $75 million.