The Marin County Transit District is getting a $31.5 million grant from the federal government to build a new electric transit bus facility, which is expected to serve its growing fleet of electric buses, the agency said.

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman and Federal Transit Administration Deputy Regional Administrator Amy Changchien presented the multimillion-dollar grant, which is funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to Marin Transit officials in San Rafael last week.

The grant is the largest such award for any transportation district in California this year, and is the single largest grant Marin Transit has received from the FTA since its inception in 1964, the district said.

The funding will facilitate the construction of a bus maintenance facility and electric charging infrastructure for up to 40 buses, and will help improve efficiency, enhance services, and provide a better transport experience for Marin County residents, according to Marin Transit general manager Nancy Whelan.

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman gives his remarks during a July 21, 2023, ceremony to award a $31.5 million federal grant to Marin Transit to build a new electric transit bus facility. “Clean energy is the future, and by investing in these buses we can supercharge our transition while improving lives, creating jobs, and reducing planet-killing emissions,” Huffman said in a statement. (Marin County Transit District via Bay City News)

Marin Transit Board of Directors president Katie Rice said the district’s biggest need is for a centralized fixed route facility for maintenance, parking and charging fixed route buses.

“Investing in a district-owned facility will allow for continued investment in electric buses, improve operational efficiency and increase competition for contracted service, and reduce risk long term,” Rice said in a statement.

She also thanked Huffman and U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla for supporting Marin Transit’s grant application.

For his part, Huffman said another benefit of electrifying the Bay Area’s bus fleets is that electric buses can potentially serve as mobile generators to help communities respond to disasters and power outages.

“Clean energy is the future, and by investing in these buses we can supercharge our transition while improving lives, creating jobs, and reducing planet-killing emissions,” Huffman said in a statement.

Marin Transit currently operates six electric buses, and is aiming to transition its mostly renewable-diesel fueled bus fleet to being a fully zero emission one by 2040 in order to meet state requirements.