Lextran awarded federal grant to purchase climate-friendly vehicles


Travis Fannon

A Lextran UK bus drives down Woodland Avenue on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

Alexis Baker, Staff Reporter

The federal government awarded Lextran, a public transportation system that serves Lexington, a $3 million grant to purchase 10 environment-friendly vehicles for its fleet.

In a press release on Tuesday, Feb. 7, Lextran said they will purchase four compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and six hybrid-electric paratransit vehicles.

Currently, Lextran operates diesel buses. The grant will allow them to replace some of their current diesel fleet with more environmentally friendly vehicles. 

Lextran is widely acknowledged as a prevalent and affordable transportation system in Lexington, and it also serves UK’s campus. 

“Lextran operates 25 fixed routes, a door-to-door paratransit service and a vanpool/ridesharing program,” the press release said. “Regular bus fare is $1.00, and there are a variety of reduced fares and pass programs available to individuals who qualify.”

The release said the funding for the addition to their fleet comes from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, which is issued through the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).

According to The U.S. Department of Transportation, the goal of the CMAQ is to allocate funds to transportation projects that are working towards limiting traffic congestion and improving air quality.  

In addition to reducing regulated emissions, congestion relief can reduce travel delays, engine idle time and unproductive fuel consumption,” the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website said. “So even though reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not a goal of the CMAQ program, such reductions may be achieved as an ancillary benefit.”

Lextran is not the only beneficiary of the grant.

“Lextran’s award was one of seven projects funded to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality,” the press release said. 

The goal of this grant is to not only benefit Lextran as a company but contribute towards improving the climate. 

“With this award, Lextran will become an even more reliable and climate-friendly option for the community,” Jill Barnett, Lextran’s general manager, said. “Replacing four diesel buses with lower emissions CNG and six gas-powered paratransit vehicles with hybrid-electric alternatives will help modernize Lextran’s fleet and improve air quality in our region.”