TARTA Starts at ZERO – Good News for the Planet

Rep. Kaptur speaks with TARTA employees

Special to The Truth

The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) is starting at ZERO and is thrilled about it.

In conjunction with several other transit agencies in Ohio, TARTA applied for and received a Low-No grant for zero emission buses and training to drive and work on those electric vehicles from the Federal Transit Administration.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will put the $26 million grant to work through their ZERO (Zero Emission Ready Ohio) program, which will oversee the delivery of electric vehicles to the state’s transit agencies in the next few years.

So what does this mean for TARTA?

TARTA applied for and was awarded $9 million from the grant, which will fund the delivery of eight electric vehicles and six electric chargers, scheduled to arrive in June of 2026. The grant also funds installation of the chargers, and perhaps most importantly the development of a training program for operators and mechanics working with electric vehicles.

TMACOG President Sandy Spang, TARTA Board Member Rev. Willie Perryman, TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski, and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur

“I believe in a zero-emission future for TARTA,” said TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski at a press conference to announce the grant. “When you combine this grant with other recent developments, including a partnership with TMACOG to bring another electric bus and two more electric paratransit vehicles soon to arrive at TARPS, we are well on our way to making that future a reality.”

The press conference took place Friday, June 30. TARTA’s CEO was joined by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, TMACOG President Sandy Spang, and TARTA Board of Trustees member Rev. Willie Perryman.

“Bringing a zero-emission bus fleet to our region will improve quality of life for Toledoans and our neighbors in the region,” said Congresswoman Kaptur through a statement. “It means less noise and exhaust in our communities, more efficient transit operations, and good-paying jobs for our electrical and utility workers.

“This funding and the improvements it will enable are a tremendous step in the right direction. It is rewarding when the work we do in Washington brings rewards back home.”

The training program developed with these funds will be the first such training curriculum for these vehicles developed in the region and will be designed to make it easier to replicate the training as Ohio’s transit systems acquire more zero emission vehicles in the near future.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is getting resources to Ohio communities to improve transportation and support Ohio workers,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown through a statement. “We fought to secure this investment to create jobs and to connect people with jobs, saving them time and money.”

TARTA has secured closed to $25 million in grant funds in the last 12 months alone.