Durbin Celebrates Pace's First Electric Bus

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) todayparticipated in a celebration for the introduction of Pace’s first electric bus—the first step in its commitment to convert the entire fleet of 700+ buses to zero emission vehicles by 2040—coined Project Zero.

“By embracing cutting-edge technology, Pace is not just transforming its fleet; it's catalyzing a broader conversation about the intersection of public transportation and environmental responsibility,” said Durbin. “Pace’s leadership in embracing clean energy showcases the potential for transformative change, and aligns with our shared vision of propelling our communities towards a greener tomorrow.”

Durbin secured $2.4 million in federal funding through Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS)—more commonly known as an earmark—in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) omnibus appropriations bill to help Pace secure its next batch of electric buses this year. The funding was part of a $6.7 million statewide earmark for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to provide funding to Illinois transit districts for new electric buses and charging infrastructure across the state.

Durbin pushed for a significant increase in bus grant funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help Illinois transit agencies transition to zero-emission fleets, which often cost more than twice that of a diesel bus. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $89 billion in funding for public transit, the largest federal transit investment in American history. Illinois will receive an estimated $4 billion in transit formula funding alone.