FTA awards $409.3 million for bus and bus facility projects

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded 70 projects in 39 states a total of $409.3 million under the Bus and Bus Facility Grant Program. The grant program supports communities in the United States with funds to purchase buses and related materials to build bus-related facilities.

“These grants will help people in communities large and small get to work, get to school, and access the services they need,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Everyone deserves access to safe, reliable, and clean public transportation — and thanks to the President’s historic bipartisan Infrastructure Act, we’re bringing modern buses to communities across America.”

FTA has received applications representing more than five times the amount of funding available in fiscal year 2021. Last week, FTA opened funding for the program’s fiscal year 22 cycle through a joint notice of $1.5 Billion Funding Opportunity with the Low or Zero Emission Grants Program. The FY22 Buses and Bus Facilities Grant Program has $372 million available for grants. Administration notes that under the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the Bus and Bus Facility Grant Program has $5.1 billion in authorized formula and competitive grants over the next five years. .

“Transit agencies are replacing aging buses and facilities with newer, cleaner infrastructure that is more efficient to operate and maintain,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Modern buses, especially those powered by electric batteries or fuel cells, improve air quality and help us tackle the climate crisis.”

Prices ranged from just over $52,000 to over $22 million.

The Texas Department of Transportation received the highest single award at $22.85 million. It plans to purchase replacement buses, build new transit maintenance facilities and support charging infrastructure for rural transit fleets.

As a state, California communities will benefit from more than $77.5 million in grants that will be applied to 14 projects, including four to support hydrogen fuel cell technology. The Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority will receive $3.9 million in funding to purchase infrastructure and equipment to support hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. The Riverside Transit Agency will receive $8.8 million in funding to build hydrogen fueling stations at its Riverside and Hemet divisions and provide training for its maintenance staff. The SunLine Transit Agency will receive $8.41 million in funding to purchase zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric transit buses and refurbish CNG buses. The North County Transit District will receive $4.8 million in funding to purchase hydrogen fuel cell electric buses to replace older buses that have reached the end of their useful life.

Ohio was the second-largest state recipient of grants with more than $32.6 million awarded to five projects, including more than $14 million to Laketran to modernize its main headquarters, including the expansion of a garage of bus and the addition of operations and maintenance facilities. A total of $10.1 million has been awarded to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) to purchase replacement buses for its subway and access fleets.

“One of the ways we are reinventing Metro is by modernizing our fleet to include low- or zero-emission vehicles that reduce our reliance on traditional diesel fuel,” said SORTA CEO and Managing Director Darryl Haley. “Federal funds like these are essential to carrying out this mission and developing reliable and sustainable public transportation throughout our community.”

Other grant highlights include $11.4 million the Connecticut Department of Transportation will receive to purchase battery-electric buses to replace diesel-powered buses that have exceeded their useful life and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority will receive $15 million to build a new bus maintenance facility in Clayton County, Georgia.

A complete list of grant recipients is available on the FTA website.

Melvin Z. Madore