Cleaner Buses and Solar Parking: How Arizona Is Upgrading Thanks to Federal Infrastructure Money

In this Aug. 19, 2015 file photo, a visitor loads his bike on a shuttle bus at Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File)

By Jessica Swarner

July 12, 2023

The federal infrastructure money will buy cleaner buses, improve rural highway safety, and improve sustainability at Arizona airports. 

President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda is pouring money into infrastructure and clean-energy projects across the US, including many in Arizona. 

The aim of these investments is to improve the country’s infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, and make communities more resilient against climate change.

A full list of project investments is available here. Here are some projects in Arizona and their expected impacts on communities:

Improving Grand Canyon Shuttle Buses

The US Federal Highway Administration granted the National Park Service over $27 million to revamp Grand Canyon National Park’s shuttle bus fleet. 

The funds will be used in part to buy 10 electric buses and 20 buses fueled by natural gas to replace aging buses in the fleet. The money will also be used to create charging infrastructure for the electric buses.

RELATED: Arizona Gets $933 Million for High-Speed Internet Expansion From Biden’s Infrastructure Law

The Grand Canyon sees millions of visitors from all over the world every year, with many using the free shuttle bus system the park offers. 

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Tucson) had sent a letter to the Department of Transportation in support of the park’s grant application.

“To practice responsible stewardship of the Grand Canyon National Park, we must lead by example in the fight against climate change,” Grijalva said in a statement. “The $27.5 million grant from the USDOT is the first critical investment to update the Grand Canyon’s aging transportation infrastructure to be more sustainable and will support NPS’ climate action plan to lower our carbon emissions.”

Making Mohave County Roads Safer

Mohave County will receive $1 million to add 50 traffic-control sign systems in rural areas, specifically in high-speed zones and around intersections. 

“Your zip code shouldn’t determine whether you have access to safe, affordable transportation,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release. “With President Biden’s investments in innovative technology, we’re helping communities make transportation safer and more efficient, particularly in places that haven’t received enough resources in the past.”

Making Arizona Airports More Sustainable

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will receive $20 million to design and build solar parking structures at the Terminal 4 garage, and at parking lots at the 44th Street and 24th Street Sky Train stations. 

Prescott Regional Airport will receive $243,000 to transition to unleaded airplane fuel to reduce the community’s exposure to emissions from leaded fuel.

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  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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