On Augusts 11, 2020, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award $464 million in transit infrastructure grants nationwide to revitalize America’s bus systems by improving their safety and reliability while enhancing mobility for transit riders.
This will also be a key component of post-COVID-19 economic recovery programs for many downtowns and regions. A total of 96 projects in 49 states and territories receive funding from FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
“This Administration is committed to rebuilding our nation’s transportation infrastructure even through the current COVID-19 crisis, and this $464 million in federal grants will help improve the safety and reliability of transit bus service nationwide as the economy returns,” said Chao.
The funding supports projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, and construct bus-related facilities.
“Millions of Americans rely on public transportation to access healthcare, jobs, and other vital services,” said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. “During this unprecedented time, we need to ensure access and mobility for the riders who depend on our nation’s bus systems.”
In Florida, five projects will receive a total of $27.8 million to purchase new electric buses and upgrade bus maintenance facilities and infrastructure in the Orlando metropolitan area, Collier County, Hillsborough County, the Jacksonville metropolitan area and Pinellas County.
In Pennsylvania, two projects will receive a total of $11.5 million to construct a new bus maintenance facility in Hazleton in Luzerne County, and purchase new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to replace older diesel buses that have exceeded their useful life in Erie County.
In Wisconsin, two projects will receive a total of $7.7 million to purchase new articulated buses to reduce crowding on high demand bus routes in the City of Madison in Dane County, and replace an aging roof on a bus maintenance facility in Milwaukee County.
Five projects in Michigan will receive a total of $27.8 million, and Vermont will receive $836,355 to help revitalize its bus service.
Demand for FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program far exceeded available funds, as FTA received 282 applications totaling approximately $1.8 billion in funding requests, from 51 states and territories. Project proposals were evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.
Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. § 5339(b)), as amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, authorizes FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program through Fiscal Year 2020.
Photo courtesy of Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).