On November 25, 2019, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award $423 million in transit infrastructure grants nationwide.
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. The goal is to renovate America’s bus systems to improve safety and reliability, and to enhance mobility for transit riders.
A total of 94 projects in 42 states and the District of Columbia will receive funding from FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
“More people travel by bus than any other form of public transportation,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “This Administration is committed to rebuilding our nation’s transportation infrastructure and helping to improve bus service nationwide.”
Among the projects selected to receive funding:
- In Arizona, two projects will receive a total of $17.4 million, including approximately $17.3 million to the Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority to construct a new Downtown Connection Center in Flagstaff and purchase all-electric buses; and $160,000 to the White Mountain Apache Tribe to purchase new vehicles and expand transit service for tribal residents.
- In Michigan, the City of Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Flint Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) will receive a total of $12.8 million, including $8.5 million to modernize Detroit’s fare collection system on buses and $4.3 million to help Flint purchase new buses that will replace diesel buses that have exceeded their useful life.
- In North Carolina, three projects will receive a total of $24.5 million, including $17.3 million to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to help several rural transit systems replace vehicles and construct public transportation facilities throughout the state; as well as $6.8 million to the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation and $480,000 to the City of Salisbury to purchase new vehicles to replace those that have exceeded their useful life.
Demand for FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program far exceeded available funds, as FTA received applications for 318 eligible projects totaling approximately $1.9 billion in funding requests, from a total of 270 applicants in 43 states and territories. Project proposals were evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.
Federal public transportation law (49 USC § 5339(b)), as amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, authorizes FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program through FY2020.
“Public bus systems throughout the country provide millions of Americans access to jobs, healthcare, grocery stores, and other vital services,” said Chao.
In Fiscal Year 2019, FTA has made available more than $12 billion in funding through both formula and competitive grant programs to support public transportation.