The U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award $423 million in transit infrastructure grants nationwide to improve the safety and reliability of America’s bus systems and enhance mobility for transit riders. Three projects in North Carolina will receive $24.5 million from FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. A list of the selected projects is available online.
“Public bus systems throughout the country provide millions of Americans access to jobs, healthcare, grocery stores, and other vital services,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The funding supports efforts to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, and construct bus-related facilities.
“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.”
North Carolina projects selected to receive funding are as follows:
• The North Carolina Department of Transportation, on behalf of several rural transit systems, will receive $17.3 million to replace vehicles, as well as construct and renovate public transportation facilities throughout the state. These projects will address safety, state of good repair and critical transit needs throughout the state.
• The City of Salisbury, on behalf of the Salisbury Transit System, will receive $480,000 to purchase new vehicles to replace older vehicles that have exceeded their useful life, and purchase support bus infrastructure. This project will improve safety and state of good repair with new buses that will be more reliable and reduce maintenance costs.
• The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation will receive $6.8 million to purchase new vehicles to replace older ones that have exceeded their useful life. The new vehicles will increase reliability and safety for passengers in Burlington, Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, NC.
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.
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.