MSRC Awards $17.2 Million for Projects to Clean Up Pollution From Cars/Trucks/Buses

Funds to be used for alternative fuel buses and heavy duty vehicles,electric bicycles and ridesharing programs.

Published: 27-Dec-2000

DIAMOND BAR, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 27, 2000--Over 360 new clean fuel transit buses and heavy-duty vehicles will be on the road soon, thanks to projects recently funded by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Review Committee (MSRC) for the coming year.

The MSRC, a committee responsible for funding clean air projects that reduce air pollution in Southern California, awarded a total of $17.2 million for projects including alternative fuel transit buses and heavy-duty vehicles, electric bicycles and ridesharing.

Each year, the MSRC helps fund projects in specific categories aimed at reducing pollution from mobile sources such as cars, trucks and buses.

"During this round of funding, we again had overwhelming demand to fund clean fuel buses and trucks," said William G. Kleindienst, chairman of the MSRC and mayor of Palm Springs. Kleindienst said the MSRC received 33 funding proposals totaling $24.7 million to help offset the higher cost of clean-fueled heavy-duty trucks, transit buses and other vehicles such as street sweepers and construction equipment, and was able to fund 21 projects for a total of $11.6 million.

This year's funding program includes:

-- $7.1 million to be allocated to alternative fuel transit buses by providing up to $40,000 per bus toward the incremental cost of alternative fuel bus purchases, 50% of refueling infrastructure (up to $200,000) and 100% of supplemental mechanical training (up to $15,000). Transit agencies with less than 100 buses and first-time alternative fuel fleets were given priority access to the funds.

-- $4.5 million to be used to replace diesel on/off road heavy-duty vehicles with alternative fuels or for repowering using cleaner or alternative fuel engines. The program allocated $2.2 million for public fleets and $2.3 million for private heavy-duty vehicle fleets.

-- A total of $100,000 to be provided to four bicycle

manufacturers to participate in an incentive program offering $250 toward the purchase of an electric bicycle to be used for commuting. An additional $79,000 was awarded for two employer-based bicycle projects which provide a maximum incentive of $650 toward the purchase of a conventional bike to be used to commute to and from work.

-- A total of $300,000 was provided to help fund the cost of

employer ridesharing projects intended to reduce work-related travel through direct incentives to employees.

-- A "smart growth" development project designed to reduce pollution and vehicle travel to the site was awarded $120,000.

In addition, the MSRC program includes $2 million to continue providing a $3,000 incentive toward the purchase of ultra-low emission (ULEV) alternative fuel vehicles as well as $5,000 toward the purchase of electric vehicles.

Finally, $3 million will be used for the MSRC's alternative fuels subvention fund match program which provides matching funds to local governments for alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure.

The MSRC is interested in clean air ideas for funding in its FY 2001-02 program. For more information about the MSRC FY 2000-01 work program, and to make suggestions for clean air programs, visit the MSRC's Web site at www.msrc-cleanair.org or call (909) 396-2777.

About the MSRC

The Mobile Source Air Pollution Review Committee (MSRC) is a committee responsible for funding transportation projects that reduce air pollution within Southern California. It was formed in 1990 when Assembly Bill 2766 was signed into law authorizing a $4 motor vehicle registration fee. Thirty percent of the $4 fee or approximately $13 million annually is used for programs administered by the MSRC. Membership is made up of representatives from the transportation agencies of Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties, as well as the Southern California Association of Governments, Southern California Rideshare, California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

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