December 21, 2020
EMBARK continues to create an impact in our state by diversifying its Oklahoma City bus fleet. Selected for funding through the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement overseen by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), EMBARK will receive $666,661 to replace two EMBARK Plus paratransit buses and one fixed route transit bus with new alternative-fueled vehicles.
“This grant award helps propel us toward our goal of having an entire fleet of alternative-fuel transit vehicles,” said Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK Administrator. “We are able to provide our communities with cleaner and quieter transit service while reducing emissions. Our transition to alternative fuels has been possible due to the support from the COTPA Board of Trustees and the Oklahoma City Council.”
In 2016, the United States settled with Volkswagen, et al. and their “defeat device” on 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles. These vehicles resulted in air pollution emissions and exceeded federal guidelines. States were awarded a portion of the settlement, depending on the number of affected vehicles. Oklahoma was awarded $21 million and former Governor Mary Fallin appointed the Oklahoma DEQ in 2017 to oversee the apportioning of the funds.
EMBARK’s grant comes from the Volkswagen Settlement’s On-Road Program, as the Oklahoma DEQ looks to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by repowering or replacing on-road diesel fueled Class 4-8 trucks and shuttle or transit buses with new diesel or alternative fueled vehicles.
The City of Norman also received $450,000 toward procuring an electric bus for their fleet through the On-Road Program. Since last August, EMBARK began operating the City of Norman’s eight CNG fixed-route buses and eight CNG paratransit buses.
Currently, 42% of EMBARK’s Oklahoma City fleet uses alternative fuels, including two hybrid electric buses, 19 CNG buses, three CNG paratransit vehicles and one electric bus scheduled to begin running in 2021. The system’s second electric bus is also expected to arrive in 2021. EMBARK recently opened a state-of-the-art CNG fueling station for its CNG-fueled buses. In 2018, EMBARK added seven OKC Streetcars to its fleet which are electric and battery operated.
This is EMBARK’s fifth grant to help increase sustainability through transit.
EMBARK is the business unit of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) – a public trust administered by the City of Oklahoma City. EMBARK is responsible for providing safe, efficient, and convenient public transportation and downtown parking solutions to the greater Oklahoma City area.
Media Contact: Michael Scroggins
Phone: O (405) 297-2107 M (405) 837-9510