Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA, (614) 644-2160
Matt Bruning, ODOT, (614) 466-6906

Ohio EPA, ODOT Announce Diesel Emission Reduction Grants for Public Transit

Grants in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lake, Montgomery, Portage, Stark counties to eliminate 7 tons of pollutants annually

The Ohio Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) Program has awarded seven grants totaling almost $7 million for replacing 29 aging diesel transit buses with newer, cleaner diesel technology or alternative fuel technology. Nine of the new buses will be electric, 11 will be powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) and nine powered by new cleaner diesel technology.

“These grants help support the efforts of Ohio’s local transit systems to modernize their bus fleets,” said Governor Mike DeWine.  “More importantly, these projects help improve air quality as we continue working to reduce pollution from diesel transit buses that operate in residential neighborhoods.” 

Ohio EPA estimates that these projects will result in an annual reduction of more than seven tons of air pollutants. These benefits will continue to accrue each year the new buses remain in service.   

The projects that were funded include:

  • Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) in Franklin County is receiving $1,439,496 to cover 16 percent of the cost to replace nine model year 2009 diesel-powered buses with nine new electric-powered buses.
  • Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) in Cuyahoga County is receiving $1,644,131 to cover 67 percent of the cost to replace five model year 2005 diesel-powered buses with five new CNG-powered buses.
  • Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (GDRTA) in Montgomery County is receiving $766,899 to cover 80 percent of the cost to replace two model year 2008 diesel-powered buses with two new diesel-powered buses.
  • Lake Transit Authority (LAKETRAN) in Lake County is receiving $411,828 for 80 percent of the cost to replace one model year 2010 diesel-powered bus with one new diesel-powered bus.
  • Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority (PARTA) in Portage County is receiving $703,038 for 70 percent of the cost to replace two model year 2007 diesel-powered buses with two new diesel-powered bus. 
  • Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) in Hamilton County is receiving $1,269,893 for 60 percent of the cost to replace four model year 2006 diesel-powered buses with four new diesel-powered buses.
  • Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) in Stark County is receiving $758,035 for 80 percent of the cost to replace six model year 2014 diesel-powered bus with six new CNG-powered buses.

Funding for the grants comes from the Federal Highway Administrations’ Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program. The next DERG application deadline is expected to be in autumn 2020. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact derg@epa.ohio.gov to receive email updates when the “Request for Proposals” is released. Applications may be submitted for projects in 35 eligible Ohio counties, and portions of three other counties. The Ohio program is administered jointly by the Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio EPA.

More information is available online: http://epa.ohio.gov/oee/EnvironmentalEducation.aspx#131364252-diesel-emission-reduction-grants


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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