U.S. DOT Announces $226.5 Million in Funding to Improve Transit Bus Service
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the opportunity to apply for approximately $226.5 million in competitive grant funding for transit bus projects nationwide. The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program is authorized by Congress to improve the condition of bus infrastructure nationwide by funding the replacement and rehabilitation of buses and related facilities that can include technological changes or innovations, such as natural gas vehicle technology, to modify low emission vehicles or facilities.
“Transit buses account for more than five billion passenger trips every year, providing vital connections to jobs and economic opportunities,” said FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes. “These grants will help more communities bring their transit infrastructure into a much-needed state of good repair.”
All projects must comply with Buy America regulations, which require that all iron, steel or manufactured products be produced in the United States, as well as final assembly of vehicles. Eligible projects include those that replace, rehabilitate, lease and purchase buses and related equipment as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, construct or lease bus-related facilities, such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance.
According to U.S. DOT’s latest Conditions & Performance Report, transit providers nationwide face a maintenance backlog of nearly $90 billion, including 10,000 buses estimated to be in poor or marginal condition.
FTA will award the Bus Infrastructure grants to designated recipients, states or local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service and Indian tribes. Projects will be evaluated by criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. The program allocates a minimum of ten percent – $22.6 million – to rural bus needs.
Federal public transportation law (49 USC § 5339(b)), as amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, authorizes FTA’s competitive Grants for Buses & Bus Facilities Program through FY2020.
The application period will close on August 25, 2017.