Durbin Visits Sangamon Mass Transit District to Celebrate $5.9 Million in Federal Funding From Department of Transportation's Low-No Emissions Bus Program

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD) to celebrate the $5.9 million in federal funding they received from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Low-No Emissions Bus Program. This federal funding will allow SMTD to replace eight of their diesel buses with four natural gas buses and four hybrid electric/diesel buses.

“Low emission vehicles are quickly becoming the backbone of our nation’s infrastructure,” said Durbin. “With public transit systems joining the movement, we’re one step closer to enabling a cleaner future for younger generations. I’m grateful our transit agencies in Illinois have made this a priority and are leading the way in replacing their bus fleets with lower emission options.”

“With the right resources, places like Springfield can lead the way in embracing 21st century technology and reducing our impact on the environment,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “This $6 million investment from the Department of Transportation is a game changer – making low-emission vehicles half of the Springfield Mass Transit District’s fleet and giving families access to clean, reliable transportation. I’m grateful to Senators Durbin and Duckworth for their leadership on this project and I look forward to working together to bring additional funding home to Central and Southern Illinois.”

“Senator Durbin has been a strong advocate for SMTD and for the Springfield community,”said Brian Brewer, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Sangamon Mass Transit District. “He has also been a champion for public transportation in general.  We appreciate his leadership and the work of the delegation to secure record funding for this particular grant program and for the financial future of public transportation.” 

Durbin pushed to provide a significant increase in bus grant funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act(IIJA) to help Illinois transit districts transition their bus fleets to zero emission. Currently, SMTD runs 34 diesel-fueled buses and 22 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. With the help of these federal funds, more than 50 percent of their bus fleet will be made up of low-emissions vehicles for the first time. According to the Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, SMTD operates buses in eighteen census tracts designated as ‘disadvantaged’, meaning this investment will improve the health and safety of disadvantaged communities in the Springfield area.