It’s no secret that public transit and attainable housing are two of the most reliable elements of any downtown revitalization plan. This was documented in the 2020 book, RECONOMICS: The Path To Resilient Prosperity.
Now, on April 13, 2023—as part of its annual support to transit systems nationwide—the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published details about the formula funding that helps communities maintain and operate the trains, buses, and ferries that provide more than half a million transit trips every month.
Those details revealed that, this year alone, a total of $14 billion is being invested in states and transit agencies to help renovate and redesign public transportation to help revitalize communities and regions alike.
This involves meeting local goals such as upgrading stations and tracks, transitioning to next-generation buses, planning and designing new transit corridors, and providing specialized service for seniors and riders with disabilities.
“This funding will open more doors to Americans than ever before,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.
“Transit formula funding provides a lifeline for communities, and this record level of support will help create jobs, provide mobility to more people and address the climate crisis,” she added.
Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding represents the largest-ever annual investment in American public transportation.
Formula funding makes up more than two-thirds of the annual $21 billion transit program. Established according to formulas set by Congress based on population totals and transit ridership data, the funding provides the backbone of transit agency budgets and allows them to maintain and expand service.
At least 28 million people in the U.S. are transit-dependent and rely on trains, buses and ferries to get to jobs, school, community services and to see friends and family.
Others choose transit to leave their cars behind and reduce their carbon footprint.
Each year, more than 65 percent of the funding distributed by FTA to transit agencies comes from congressionally assigned formulas.
This year’s transit formula funding represents a 28% increase over previous funding levels before the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was passed.
Photo courtesy of New Jersey Transit.