President Biden and the U.S. Department of Transportation‘s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have awarded $409.3 million in grants to 70 projects in 39 states to modernize and electrify America’s buses, make bus systems and routes more reliable, and improve their safety.
The grants support modernizing and improving the most widespread form of transit in America and will help dozens of communities buy new-technology and electric buses, such as electric buses, that reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, promote cleaner air, and help address the climate crisis.
“These grants will help people in communities large and small get to work, get to school, and access the services they need,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Everyone deserves access to safe, reliable, clean public transportation – and thanks to the President’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are bringing modern buses to communities across America.”
FTA received more than $2.5 billion in funding requests, more than five times the amount of funding available under the previous law. Under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, an additional $5.1 billion in formula and competitive grant funding is authorized under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program over the next five years – meaning more projects can be funded.
“Transit agencies are replacing aging buses and facilities with newer, cleaner infrastructure that is more efficient to operate and maintain,” states FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Modern buses, especially those powered with electric batteries or fuel cells, improve air quality and help us address the climate crisis.”
Examples of projects selected to receive Fiscal Year 2021 funding include the Connecticut Department of Transportation receiving $11.4 million to buy battery-electric buses to replace diesel-powered buses that are past their useful life. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will receive $15 million to build a new bus maintenance facility in Clayton County, Ga. Laketran, which serves Lake County, Ohio, will receive nearly $14.7 million to expand a bus garage, add operations and maintenance facilities, and modernize its main headquarters. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada will receive nearly $5 million to buy new hydrogen fuel cell buses to replace older diesel buses and to install renewable energy lighting at bus stops throughout its system.
In response to the Notice of Funding Opportunity, FTA received 303 eligible project proposals totaling approximately $2.56 billion in requests.