Federal Grant Lands Big Island New Electric Buses

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Electric bus. Wikimedia photo.

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation announced Tuesday, Aug. 16 that 21 alternative energy and low-emission buses will be deployed across the state thanks to the “Buses and Bus Facilities” and “Low or No Emission” grants under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

A total of $35 million will go towards the following:

The County of Hawaiʻi will procure six fuel cell electric buses and supporting hydrogen charging infrastructure, as well as capital elements of the Hawaiʻi County Transit and Multi-Modal Transportation Master Plan which includes improvements to bus stops and shelters, transit hub design, and zero emissions infrastructure.


The County of Kauaʻi will procure four battery electric buses and expand its base yard to prepare the infrastructure needed to transition its fleet to electric buses by the year 2035 and provide the space required to expand and improve transit service quality.

The County of Maui will procure four (4) battery electric buses, as well as three commuter and four microtransit-type buses, and prepare the infrastructure needed to transition its fleet to electric buses by the year 2035.

“Congratulations to the three counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Island, and Maui. These competitive grants will benefit many thousands of residents and visitors to those islands,” said Jade Butay, Director of Hawaii Department of Transportation. HDOT manages federal transit grant requests for the three counties.


Honolulu’s Department of Transportation Services (DTS) also secured $20 million to purchase new electric buses. DTS deals directly with the FTA in securing it’s own competitive grants.

The Federal Transit Administration’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program supports transit agencies in buying and rehabilitating buses and vans and building bus maintenance facilities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides nearly $2 billion over five years for the program. For the Fiscal Year 2022, approximately $550 million for grants was available under this program.

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