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College Point MTA depot to get natural gas buses

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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has announced $33.8 million in federal money for 74 new fuel-efficient buses powered by natural gas for Queens and Brooklyn.

“This funding replaces diesel-belching buses that pollute our air with cleaner, modern, natural gas buses that are a big upgrade for bus riders,” Schumer said. “By adding brand new buses with the most up-to-date technology in fuel efficiency, hundreds of thousands of daily bus riders in Brooklyn and Queens will now have the modern and efficient bus service they deserve — and we will reduce the kinds of air pollution that impact our kids with asthma and other breathing problems.”

The buses will go to the College Point and Spring Creek Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus depots, which dispatch many routes across the two boroughs, with composite natural gas buses.

The federal grant also includes an option of buying up to 30 additional natural gas buses in order to either convert an additional MTA bus route from diesel to natural gas or increase bus service in New York through the establishment of new routes.

All natural gas buses in operation more than 12 years will also be replaced as part of the federal program. The money comes as part of the State of Good Repair project of the Federal Transportation Administration.

“Maintaining the nation’s bus and rail systems in a state of good repair is essential if public transportation systems are to provide safe and reliable service to millions of daily riders, especially the elderly and those with disabilities who need to get to work and around their communities,” Schumer said.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

Updated 11:30 am, October 12, 2011
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