Pictured: Winners of the 2019 TSTAs (top) and inductees to the 2019 TGF Program (bottom).
STF&E Returns to Knoxville
TDEC, TDOT, and Tennessee Clean Fuels held the fifth annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo (STF&E) on October 1-2 at the UT Conference Center in Knoxville. The research, technology, planning, and policy developments shared at STF&E aim to improve transportation efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, and address the mobility needs of all. In addition to the forum, STF&E provided the following offerings:
The following 2019 TSTA winners were recognized by TDEC and TDOT for their efforts to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state. Click here to learn more about their projects:
  • City of Knoxville, Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project
  • Weakley County Schools, Propane School Bus Adoption
  • Walk Bike Nashville, Safe Routes to School
  • Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Public Works Department, Music Row Bikeway
  • Shelby County Health Department, Memphis Area Rideshare Program
  • Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Planning Department, Nashville Connector
  • City of Lebanon, Music City Star Hamilton Springs Station
Finally, Tennessee Clean Fuels provided TGF certification to five new fleets, recognizing those that have taken exceptional strides to reduce vehicle emissions in Tennessee. Click here to learn more about their fleet improvements:
  • ABM Aviation, BNA Shuttle Operations 
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Waste Management’s Jackson, TN Fleet
  • Tennessee State Park’s Golf Cart Fleet
  • Clean Sweep, Inc.
Learn more about STF&E at Click here to see photos from this year’s forum.
Tennessee Clean Fuels Turns 15
U.S. DOE's Clean Cities program advances the nation's economic, environmental, and energy security by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies. In Tennessee, there are two U.S. DOE-designated Clean Cities Coalitions: the Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (MWTCF) and the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCF). Collectively, these Coalitions are known as Tennessee Clean Fuels.
This October, both MWTCF and ETCF celebrated their 15th anniversaries as Clean Cities Coalitions under U.S. DOE. Since inception in 2004, the two coalitions have brought together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to deploy alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements, and new transportation technologies. According to U.S. DOE, MWTCF, ETCF, and their stakeholders reduced energy consumption by over 19 million gallons of gasoline equivalent in 2017 alone (resulting in the avoidance of more than 90,000 tons of CO2). Learn more at
October 2 was Walk to School Day
More than 4,000 schools across the country participated in the national Walk to School Day on October 2. On that day, students, families, and school leaders were challenged to get outside and promote safer, active, and cleaner transportation for today’s youth. This annual event, which is organized by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, takes place during Walk to School Month and aims to increase walking and biking throughout the year. The Center has found that more than half of Walk to School Day events lead to changes in local policies and road design that improve pedestrian safety for walking and bicycling, broadening mobility options for students. In Tennessee, 82 school events were planned throughout the month in support of Walk to School Day 2019. Click here to learn more.
Medium and Heavy Trucks Account for 26% of U.S. Vehicle Fuel Use
According to U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, medium and heavy duty trucks account for a disproportionate share of the United States’ vehicle miles traveled and associated fuel use. Although medium and heavy duty trucks made up only 4% of the U.S. vehicle population in 2017, these vehicles accounted for 26% of that year’s vehicle fuel consumption. Tractor trailers, or combination trucks, have a particularly disproportionate impact on American fuel use, as they made up only 1% of the vehicle population in 2017 but were responsible for 6% of all vehicle miles traveled and accounted for 17% of that year’s overall vehicle fuel use. Click here to learn more.
Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee Supports TN Park Rangers, Cumberland Trail
More than 300 riders from 30 states participated in the 30th annual Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee (BRAT) on Sept. 14-19. BRAT is a multi-day bicycle tour with a different route each year, during which participants travel from one Tennessee State Park to another via Tennessee’s backroads. This year’s ride featured Natchez Trace and Montgomery Bell State Parks as basecamps, where overnight accommodations were provided for registered riders. In 2019, ridership grew by more than 30% compared to the year prior, reflecting the highest number of riders in a decade. Sponsored by Tennessee State Parks, proceeds from the event support the Tennessee Park Rangers Association and the development and protection of the Cumberland Trail. 
TDEC Launches Transit and Shuttle Bus Grant Program
On September 10, 2019, TDEC released its second solicitation for projects under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT). The purpose of the EMT is to execute environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides. All terms that are both bolded and italicized below are defined in Appendix D-2 of the State Trust Agreement.
Under this solicitation, $16 million in EMT funding is available for eligible Class 4-8 Transit and Shuttle Bus projects. The grant program, managed by the TDEC Office of Energy Programs, will provide financial assistance to public, non-profit, and private fleets in Tennessee that apply to replace eligible Transit or Shuttle Buses with any new Alternate Fueled or All-Electric Transit or Shuttle Buses. Additionally, fleets may also apply to Repower Transit or Shuttle Buses with new All-Electric Transit or Shuttle Bus drivetrains.
Transit or Shuttle Buses eligible for replacement or Repower include 2009 engine model year or older Class 4-8 diesel buses used for transporting people. For purposes of this solicitation, “Transit Buses” shall include all vehicles that provide public transportation, which shall mean regular and continuing shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public. “Shuttle Buses” shall include vehicles that provide transportation services for one or more specific entities, intra-terminal or intra-facility transportation services, or mobility-on-demand services.
Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted electronically via the online TDEC Grants Management System, which may be accessed here: Applications must be received by 4:00 PM CT on Nov. 19, 2019. TDEC will announce awards after conducting a comprehensive review and evaluation of all complete and eligible grant applications. Grant contracting efforts will occur shortly thereafter. For more information, click here: Transit and Shuttle Bus Grant Program.
For additional information on the VW Settlement, visit the TDEC website at and sign up for TDEC’s email list here.
Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee
On behalf of TDEC, ETCF recently released a request for proposals under the 2020 “Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee” (RDE4HT) rebate program, which is funded by the State of Tennessee’s annual allocation under the U.S. EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Program. RDE4HT is designed to reduce diesel emissions in the transportation sector and can support 1) the replacement of diesel vehicles with new alternative fuel vehicles (e.g., propane, compressed natural gas, electric, hybrid, etc.); 2) the replacement of old diesel vehicles with new diesel vehicles; 3) the conversion of diesel vehicles to new alternative fuel or diesel engines; or 4) the installation of Truck Stop Electrification equipment at Tennessee-based travel centers.
Eligible applicants may include both public and private entities. Fleets may apply for as few as one vehicle or as many as 15, and there are no restrictions on the model year of the vehicle to be replaced. Applications are due by December 10, 2019. Questions can be directed to Jonathan Overly at or 865-974-3625.
REAP to Fund Rural Energy Projects
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. This program helps improve American energy independence by both increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers. Funding for Fiscal Year 2020 is available in a variety of forms, each under its own application process and timeline. Grant applications are due March 31, 2020. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as biomass (biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels); geothermal for electric generation or direct use; hydropower below 30 MW; hydrogen; small and large wind generation; small and large solar generation; and ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation. With regard to transportation, REAP funds may be used for solar-assisted electric vehicle charging stations. Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC); insulation; lighting; cooling or refrigeration units; doors and windows; electric, solar, or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots; switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor; and replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.

Click here to learn more and to apply for REAP financial assistance. Click here to find the REAP point of contact for your Tennessee region.
TennSMART 2019 Fall Member Meeting
TennSMART will hold its 2019 Fall Member Meeting on November 5-6 at the FedEx Institute of Technology in Memphis. Attending TennSMART members will discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in intelligent mobility and will have the opportunity to network with peers and other stakeholders while exploring some of FedEx's latest freight technologies. Click here to register. Learn more about the event at
Map of U.S. Auto Emissions
Earlier this month, the New York Times released an interactive, nationwide transportation emissions map, demonstrating that nearly 60% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the 250 million passenger cars, SUVs, and trucks on the road today. While national fuel economy standards have helped slow the increase in U.S. auto emissions, the benefits of such standards has been largely offset by a strong economy that allows Americans to drive more miles and purchase pricier, less fuel efficient SUVs and pickup trucks. This map also shows that Tennessee’s four major metropolitan areas saw increases in both total greenhouse gas emissions and per capita greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2017:
  • Nashville: 88% increase in total emissions; 9% increase in per person emissions.
  • Memphis: 67% increase in total emissions; 34% increase in per person emissions.
  • Chattanooga: 33% increase in total emissions; 4% increase in per person emissions.
  • Knoxville: 45% increase in total emissions; 8% increase in per person emissions.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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