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TANK to Receive $2.1 Million to Replace Buses

$8.5 million in transportation funding was announced Tuesday by Gov. Andy Beshear to replace around 170 buses and to support other efforts to expand reliable and sustainable transportation in Kentucky.

The announcement includes $2.1 million for the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK).

The funding will go toward the purchase of cleaner emission transit buses in areas of Kentucky challenged with meeting federal air quality standards.

The funds are part of the $20.3 million awarded to Kentucky under the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. That was part of $100 million secured by then-Attorney General Beshear after filing suit against the automaker for deceiving Kentucky consumers. The 2020 General Assembly developed a spending plan for the funds and approved expenditures beginning July 1.

“We held Volkswagen accountable for deceiving consumers and now we are using those funds to build a better Kentucky with safe, reliable transportation to help Kentuckians get to work, to the doctor and to the grocery store,” said Beshear. “This funding will reduce pollution to create cleaner air and improve transportation options in four regions of the commonwealth.”

In addition to the awards announced today, the Volkswagen Mitigation Fund will cover some Kentucky school districts’ reimbursement for up to 50% of the cost of replacing up to five buses.

“We estimate approximately 170 buses can be replaced with this allocation of Volkswagen Mitigation Funds,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “What a difference that will make for our air quality, and for the children who ride those school buses every day.”

TANK will replace six older diesel buses with new diesel buses.

Both Louisville's Transit Authority of River City (TARC) and TANK operate in ozone nonattainment areas, which are considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

“The use of $8.5 million of the settlement for the purchase of cleaner-emission transit buses serves our public in two ways. Reduced emissions mean improved air quality, which is a health benefit for everyone. And the upgrading of transit vehicles means better service to our fellow Kentuckians who rely on public transportation for getting to work, school, doctor appointments, shopping and other places they have to go in the course of their daily lives, " Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said.

-Staff report

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