Senator Boxer supports alternative-fuel bus |

Senator Boxer supports alternative-fuel bus

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has thrown the weight of her office behind a federal grant to buy alternative-fuel buses for Lake Tahoe.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors is working with the city of South Lake Tahoe to create a transportation program for seniors and disabled persons.

Officials expect the Tran-Sen proposal, with its emphasis on serving medical needs, to be in operation in the spring of 2002.

The grant for two compressed natural gas vans would be funded by the Federal Transit Administration and administered by the California Department of Transportation.

The county’s Air Pollution Control Board has authorized $57,000 of county funds to match the federal grant funds. The city plans to kick in $12,000 and an insurance deductible.

“Maintaining our senior citizens’ independence while providing for their daily needs is of great importance, especially when harsh weather or other circumstances deter them from driving. Tran-Sen is an excellent program to provide for the needs of the Lake Tahoe area’s senior citizens,” Boxer wrote in a letter to Caltrans Director Jeff Morales.

Boxer’s nod of approval is twofold. She commends the county for its commitment to the senior and disabled community as well as its dedication to improving and protecting the Tahoe Basin’s air quality.

Transportation officials estimate 120,000 more vehicles will circulate in the basin by 2025. A Tahoe Regional Planning Agency transportation plan cites the growth in the Sacramento area as a contributing factor to pollution in the basin.

The report by Sacramento-based Parsons Brinkenhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. is due out in 2002.

“Air quality and the quality of life are of the utmost importance here in the Tahoe area. With the purchase of alternative-fuel buses, these issues will remain front and center,” said Marvin Weitzenhoffer of the county’s Commission on Aging.

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