The Federal Transit Administration participated in two ceremonies in late October to highlight the impact of 2018 grants aimed at improving transit bus services in Kansas City, Missouri, and Blooming, Illinois.
[Above photo by the FTA.]
FTA’s Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams attended a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 25 as construction got underway on the new Prospect MAX BRT or bus rapid transit line serving downtown Kansas City. Supported by a $29.9 million grant through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants or CIG program – funding originally announced in April – the Prospect MAX BRT line will be the third BRT line established in Kansas City.
It will operate on a 10-mile corridor with traffic signal prioritization and off-board ticketing, FTA noted in a statement and will offer real-time arrival information, wireless internet or WiFi service, and connections to bus routes serving communities in Missouri and Kansas.
FTA’s Williams then attended a ceremony in Bloomington on Oct. 26 to officially award more than $12 million in competitive grant funds to improve bus transit service throughout central Illinois – grants aimed at helping local transit agencies modernize their bus fleets, improve service, and enhance safety for riders, the agency noted in a statement.
Connect Transit in Bloomington – which operates 15 fixed bus routes, a paratransit service in the cities of Bloomington and Normal, and provides 2.3 million rides annually – received a $6 million grant through FTA’s competitive Bus and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment program to buy battery-powered all-electric buses to replace the aging diesel-fired units in its fleet.
The other grants went to the City of Decatur, which received $4.6 million to replace buses that have exceeded their useful life, and the Illinois Department of Transportation, which got $2.3 million in funding to replace buses and improve bus facilities around the state.
A total of 107 projects in 50 states and territories were selected to receive $366.2 million in this latest round of funding under the program, FTA added. Altogether, in fiscal year 2018, the agency said it awarded more than $15 billion in funding through both formula and competitive grant programs to support public transportation operations.