NY: White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu Announces $25.4 Million Federal Investment in CDTA
Oct. 17 – ALBANY, NY – White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu visited Albany on Monday to highlight federal investments in infrastructure. Speaking at the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA) headquarters, Landrieu highlighted a $25.4 million federal investment in the CDTA funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The project allows CDTA to expand its fleet of electric buses and further develop its charging infrastructure to reduce emissions and combat climate change.
Landrieu, who is also a senior adviser to President Joe Biden, noted how those funding dollars will help reshape the economy and create more American jobs.
“As we move into a clean energy economy, think of a couple of things, right now, we actually have to build these buses. We’re going to change the entire economy of the United States of America with new manufacturing jobs with products made in America, for these buses,” Landrieu said.
“Someone has to make the batteries that go on the buses. So a whole new group of people are going to be working all over America and private industry has already announced billions of dollars of investment that is already on the way. Since this president [Biden] since he came to power, we’ve created 700,000 new manufacturing jobs because it wasn’t just about the end result, it was about giving people the ability to support their families and build generational wealth “, explained Landrieu.
Landrieu also spoke about his own experience driving high-polluting buses to school as a child and how funding electric buses will make commuting healthier.
“These buses are going to make life so much easier for everyone in real time, at specific locations on the pitch where it matters. At the bus stop, in the bus barn, in the executive office, wherever we let’s talk,” Landrieu added.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan noted what federal investments represent in building a green economy in the capital.
“It’s a great day for us to highlight all the incredible ways the City of Albany is leading to make sure we invest infrastructure dollars, the funding that comes from Washington, in ways that help our community build our community, which builds a green economy, which considers equity and social justice in everything we do,” Sheehan remarked.
CDTA CEO Carm Basile commented on how federal dollars have allowed them to ride out the pandemic and continue to grow their bus fleet. According to Basile, CDTA has eight electric buses and the charging infrastructure installed to take their transportation to the next level.
“The federal government has recognized the critical role public transit plays in helping us through the pandemic,” Basile said.
“I’m not sure if we’ve made it out of the pandemic, but for now let’s at least wish we were on the road. They were very supportive of our work and provided appropriate funding to get us through the pandemic.” Basile continued regarding being on the front lines throughout the pandemic.
He also noted how well the CDTA has rebounded with the help of federal grants and investments.
“We here at CDTA are using this funding to get through the pandemic and to make our system bigger, better and stronger. I’m happy to tell you that our ridership from [Sunday] is 85% of what it was before the start of the pandemic. This is one of the highest return rates in New York State and one of the highest for a bus system alone in North America,” Basile noted.
“So why is this important? It prepares us to use the investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. This historic legislation will improve public transit options for all of us and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our country,” Basile explained.
“It will shape our future through bold investments in public transit systems that will enable our communities to meet growing mobility demands,” added Basile.
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