The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams today joined SunLine Transit Agency officials and other local partners to highlight transit workforce training for innovative technologies of the future, including zero-emission transit buses.
"Workforce development is a key priority for this Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation," said FTA Acting Administrator Williams. "The Administration’s economic policies have created unprecedented opportunities for American workers and American jobs, especially as technology continues to transform the employment landscape."
Williams joined officials at SunLine’s headquarters to highlight the agency’s efforts to improve workforce training and offer courses in the Fall of 2019. They will focus on training current transit employees and providing them with skills that will support job retention for years to come.
SunLine Transit Agency has been a leader in the public transportation industry by incorporating zero-emission buses and vehicles into its fleet, which now includes both hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric buses. These technologies are becoming more widely deployed throughout the transit industry as they can help lower operating costs and improve efficiencies in service.
"The Federal Transit Administration is proud to partner with SunLine to help train the next generation of transit workers about the innovative technologies that are shaping the future of our industry," said FTA Acting Administrator Williams.
FTA has provided nearly $2 million in grant funding to help SunLine develop and demonstrate a comprehensive training program for the transit industry and to construct a state-of-the-art maintenance facility designed specifically for zero-emission buses.
SunLine expects to begin construction on its West Coast Center of Excellence in Zero Emission Technology early next year. The center is a collaboration between numerous public and private organizations, including transit agencies, colleges, private industry, and government agencies that are involved in the development and maintenance of zero-emission buses.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides financial and technical assistance to local public transit systems, including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, trolleys and ferries. FTA also oversees safety measures and helps develop next-generation technology research. Transit services supported by FTA span many groups and provide wide-ranging benefits. Since 1964, FTA has partnered with state and local governments to create and enhance public transportation systems, investing more than $12 billion annually to support and expand public rail, bus, trolley, ferry and other transit services.