The board of directors of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority voted unanimously last week to authorize the purchase of 70 environmentally friendly hybrid buses using federal stimulus funding.
The 40-foot diesel hybrid buses will be provided by Gillig LLC, a transit bus manufacturing company based in Hayward, according to VTA officials.
On Thursday night, the 70 buses were authorized to be bought using $42.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"The federal stimulus funding is benefiting the Bay Area in several ways," VTA General Manager Michael Burns said in a statement.
"First, Santa Clara County residents reap the environmental benefits from these buses. Secondly, the local economy benefits because VTA will be purchasing these buses from a bus manufacturer located in Hayward," Burns said.
Dennis Howard, president of Gillig LLC, said that 35 jobs are being created and sustained by the bus purchase contract, which will also support 1,272 suppliers, vendors and other indirect jobs.
The buses will also help VTA comply with new state and federal emissions requirements. They have the most advanced environmentally friendly technology available on the market, replacing older buses purchased 11 and 12 years ago, according to VTA officials.