The cities of Santa Clara and Cupertino are sharing a $8.5 million state grant to expand an on-demand shuttle service between the two communities using a fleet of zero-emission buses.

The money will be used to expand availability of the Via-Cupertino On-Demand Shuttle. Announced earlier this month, the grant comes from the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, which funds projects that both expand public transportation services and minimize emissions.

The grant fund will help the cities improve public transportation connections to job centers, hospitals and other essential destinations from Caltrain, Amtrak and VTA stations. The project also aims to improve access to public transportation for seniors and those in high poverty neighborhoods.

The project will be implemented over a five-year span beginning in 2023, according to the state.

“This is just a wonderful partnership with the City of Cupertino to bring more transit options to those in our community who need it most,” stated Mayor Lisa Gillmor. “As our City transit becomes more interconnected to the region, it’s important we’re reaching the underserved first, and also looking to the future with more energy efficient, environmentally friendly public transit.”

More information about the Via-Cupertino Shuttle can be found online.