Sevierville Receives $1.1 Million For Hybrid-electric Buses Under Regional Clean Transportation Initiative

Posted on December 3, 2003

CHATTANOOGA, TN — U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressman Zach Wamp (R-TN) announced today the allocation of over $1.1 million of federal funding to help purchase new hybrid electric buses for the city of Sevierville, Tennessee. "This announcement, one day after our Clean Air Forum in Knoxville, demonstrates that advanced technologies and clean air solutions are available for use in Tennessee now. Sevierville's residents and visitors will be among the first in this region to benefit," remarked Senator Alexander. The Advanced Transportation Technology Institute (ATTI) of Chattanooga will manage the grant under the auspices of the Federal Transit Administration. ATTI will give technology support to Sevierville through the purchase and deployment of the hybrid electric buses. "This news is a prime example of what can happen in the Tennessee Valley Corridor when cities and organizations work together as part of the Clean Transportation Initiative. This outcome is in everyone's best interest," stated Congressman Wamp. "Big steps like this help move us down the road to a more energy-secure America." "These funds were originally earmarked by the Federal Transit Administration for the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority for FY2000-01. It is important to understand that we are transferring available funding for more immediate use by Sevierville. At a future date, CARTA will be eligible for similar funding for use in the Chattanooga area," Rep. Wamp said. The new buses, which will be operated by Fun-Time Trolley of Pigeon Forge, will represent the initial steps toward a true public transit system in Sevierville. Doug Bishop, City Administrator of the City of Sevierville, said, "We are very excited about this since Sevierville is one of Tennessee's leading cities in promoting the advancement of clean transportation technology. This move will be good for Sevierville as well as the surrounding gateway communities of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park." Susan Whitaker, Tennessee's Commissioner of Tourist Development, commented, "Transportation solutions in this destination community require not just cleaner fuels, but more effective ways of moving a steady stream of visitors. This use of funds is a smart way to make sure our tourism attractions stay competitive." A private, nonprofit organization, ATTI promotes the advancement of electric, hybrid-electric and other clean transportation technologies that encourage a healthy environment and energy independence. The Institute helps educate the public about alternative fuels, assists transit systems to implement clean fleets, and coordinates clean vehicle demonstrations throughout North America. The Institute works closely with cities in developing clean-fuel transit projects, including Louisville, Knoxville, Indianapolis, Miami Beach, and Tempe. ATTI also supports regional organizations such as the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition in educating the public on the advantages of clean fuel technology.