FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2024
GM/CEO COLLIE GREENWOOD JOINS WHITE HOUSE ROUNDTABLE ON CLEAN BUS MANUFACTURING
Task Force Releases Recommendations to Strengthen U.S. Bus Manufacturing
ATLANTA – The American Public
Transportation Association (APTA) is meeting today with White House and Federal
Transit Administration (FTA) officials to address challenges facing the U.S.
bus manufacturing industry amidst the industry’s transition to low- and
zero-emission buses. Collie Greenwood, General Manager and CEO of MARTA, joins
other transit agency leaders at the White House.
The recent pandemic impacted the financial
viability and competitiveness of U.S. bus manufacturing, leaving only two major
manufacturers in the market. APTA presented immediate measures that could be
taken to fortify a more competitive and stable domestic bus manufacturing
industry. The recommendations, developed by APTA’s Bus Manufacturing Task
Force, underscore the urgent need for federal support to ensure U.S. capacity
to manufacture and deliver clean buses at a scale and pace needed to meet
market demands and achieve national climate and equity goals while reducing
The FTA today is meeting the challenge for
more federal support, announcing the opportunity to apply for approximately
$1.10 billion in competitive grants under the fiscal year 2024 Low or No
Emission Grant Program and approximately $390 under the Grants for Buses and
Bus Facilities Program.
“Thank you to the White House, the FTA, and
APTA for inviting MARTA to participate in this important discussion,” said
Greenwood. “As we transition to low- and zero-emission bus fleets, the Task
Force’s work has helped us better understand the business as a whole and how we
can work together to make bus manufacturing more sustainable in the long-term.
In fact, MARTA is now working closely with our manufacturing partners to
investigate procurement contract terms such as milestone payments to help them
address their cash flow challenges.”
“We thank the White House and FTA for
collaborating with APTA and its member U.S. transit agencies, bus
manufacturers, and bus component suppliers in a critical dialogue to help
tackle our industry’s current challenges during its shift toward clean bus
manufacturing and deployment in the United States,” said APTA President and CEO
Paul P. Skoutelas. “Preserving, protecting and nurturing a highly competitive
U.S. bus manufacturing market and building the capacity to transition to low-
and zero-emission buses is essential.”
Manufacturing Task Force recommends immediate actions to bolster
competitiveness and stability in the U.S. bus manufacturing sector to help meet
market demand, climate goals and equity objectives for zero-emission buses. The
Task Force is led by Dorval R. Carter, Jr., former APTA Chair and President of
the Chicago Transit Authority, together with Task Force Vice Chair Richard A.
Davey, President of New York City Transit. Task Force members represent a
diverse constituency of the public transportation industry.
To help address immediate cash-flow
shortages, the Task Force recommends that transit agencies incorporate three
changes in bus contracts: price adjustments, progress payments, and use of
price indices. Other immediate recommended actions include developing a set of
bus procurement best practices and exploring ways to reduce customization in
bus design, which can increase costs and delay the procurement cycle.
The Task Force outlines several longer-term
approaches to enhancing competition and funding the transition to zero-emission
fleets. To read the full list of
recommendations, visit apta.com.
For years, MARTA has been transitioning
away from diesel-powered vehicles and is committed to using electric buses on
all its bus rapid transit (BRT) routes.
In 2023, MARTA agreed to a five-year $226
million contact with New Flyer for the purchase of 45 battery electric and 135
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses. Federal funds from Sen. Jon Ossoff, with
support from Sen. Raphael Warnock, and Federal Transit Administration’s Low and
No Emissions grants will support the electric bus purchases. The contract also
includes an option to purchase fuel-cell powered buses as hydrogen is explored
by regional leaders.
MARTA first introduced a CNG bus from New
Flyer in 1996 and began to transition the fleet from diesel to CNG in 2005. As
of FY24, MARTA’s active bus fleet consists of 514 buses, including 345 CNG, 163
diesel, and 6 battery electric. MARTA saw a 33 percent increase in overall fuel
efficiency of its bus fleet from 2012 to 2023.