$40M Grant to Fund Climate-Friendly Shuttle-UM Buses
By Chris Carroll
Illustration by Department of Transportation Services
The familiar diesel rumble of Shuttle-UM buses transporting Terps and local residents around Greater College Park and beyond for the last half-century will soon be more of a whirrrr.
A nearly $40 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will allow UMD to replace 75% of its current bus fleet with electric buses as early as summer 2026. The award, which includes funds for battery-bus infrastructure and staff training, was part of a $1.7 billion FTA transit grant program—the largest to any university nationwide.
“Thanks to this grant, we will be able to move more quickly on our plans to provide our community with a more reliable, sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transportation,” says UMD President Darryll J. Pines. “I am incredibly proud of our institution and how it continues to prioritize environmental responsibility and innovative solutions.”
The university has committed to replacing its vehicle fleet, including the current 48 buses, with electric equivalents by 2035. An analysis by the UMD-based Build America Center submitted with the grant application showed that a full stable of electric buses will cut the transit fleet’s energy use up to a whopping 99.7%.
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