The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded a total of nearly $1.7 billion in grants to support 130 transit projects in 46 states and territories, representing funding for over 1,700 American-built transit buses, with nearly half of them slated to be zero-emission models
[Above image by FTA]
Those projects are supported by FTA’s “Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities” and its “Low- and No-Emission Vehicle” or “Low-No” programs. The Buses and Bus Facilities program provides federal funding for transit agencies to buy and rehabilitate buses and vans and build and modernize bus facilities, with nearly $2 billion available through fiscal year 2026 for the program via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA. For FY 2023, approximately $473 million for grants was available under this program.
Meanwhile FTA’s Low-No program makes funding available to help transit agencies buy or lease American-built low- or zero-emission vehicles, including buses and vans; make facility and station upgrades to accommodate low- or zero-emission vehicles; and purchase supporting equipment like chargers for battery electric vehicles. The IIJA provides $5.5 billion through FY 2026 for the Low-No Program, with approximately $1.2 billion made available for grants in FY 2023.
“Every day, over 60,000 buses in communities of all sizes take millions of Americans to work, school, and everywhere else they need to go,” said USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement. “[This] announcement means more clean buses, less pollution, more jobs in manufacturing and maintenance, and better commutes for families across the country.”
A host of state departments of transportation are receiving grants via this round of funding to support various local and regional transit agencies:
- The Ohio Department of Transportation will receive $29.3 million to help 10 transit agencies serving both rural and urban communities buy dozens of low- or no-emission buses that will replace older vehicles. The agencies will expand their fleets to support essential services, train workers in good-quality careers, and begin the de-carbonization transition for several of Ohio’s major transit systems. The new battery electric, compressed natural gas (CNG), and propane-powered buses supported by this grant will provide better reliability, improve air quality, and lower maintenance costs across the state.
- The Colorado Department of Transportation will receive over $3.6 million on behalf of four local transportation agencies – Mountain Express Transit, San Miguel Authority, ECO Transit, and the town of Winter park – to purchase vans and buses as well as upgrade vehicle maintenance and storage facilities.
- The Connecticut Department of Transportation will receive over $26.4 million to buy battery-electric buses to replace older diesel buses and modernize its CTtransit Stamford Division Depot in order to support battery-electric bus service.
- The Iowa Department of Transportation will receive over $17.8 million on behalf of five rural transit agencies to buy battery-electric buses to replace older diesel buses along with charging equipment.
- The Illinois Department of Transportation will receive over $24 million to buy battery-electric paratransit buses and vans plus associated charging equipment for 57 large urban, small urban, and rural public transportation providers statewide.
- The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will receive over $11.5 million to improve and expand transit service in 10 rural transit agencies that serve 45 counties by buying buses and equipment and upgrading facilities.
- The Michigan Department of Transportation will receive over $500,000 on behalf of four rural transit agencies to buy new vans, upgrade bus lifts, modernize a transit facility, and purchase software for scheduling and dispatch services and more than $10.4 million on behalf of the Interurban Transit Authority and People’s Express to build new transit facilities and upgrade current structures.
- The Minnesota Department of Transportation will receive over $1.4 million to help the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council (which operates Heartland Express) and Southwest Minnesota Opportunity Council (which operates Prairieland Transit to buy propane-fueled buses and supporting fueling equipment.
- The North Carolina Department of Transportation will receive nearly $6 million to purchase buses and vans, as well as upgrade transit facilities, on behalf of AppalCART, Columbus County Transportation, and the Inter-County Public Transportation Authority.
- The New Mexico Department of Transportation will receive nearly $8 million to help the North Central Regional Transit District buy diesel-electric hybrid buses and both build new transit facilities and upgrade existing structures.
- The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will receive $6 million on behalf of Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater Community Transit (known as OSU Transit) to complete the new OSU Transportation Operations and Maintenance Facility.
- The Oregon Department of Transportation will receive nearly $7 million on behalf of Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and River County Transportation District’s Columbia Area Transit to buy both hybrid and completely all-electric buses.
- The South Carolina Department of Transportation will receive over $15.4 million on behalf of 25 rural transit providers to buy replacement vehicles.
- The South Dakota Department of Transportation will receive over $1 million to assist in purchasing nine new ethanol-fueled buses on behalf of Aberdeen Ride Line and Community Transit of Watertown/Sisseton Inc. It’s also getting $320,000 for the Brookings Area Transit Authority to upgrade transit facilities and nearly $1.3 million for River Cities Public Transit, Prairies Hill Transit, and People’s Transit to purchase propane-powered buses.
- The Texas Department of Transportation will receive over $7.4 million to buy 56 hybrid-electric and CNG cut-away transit vehicles for 29 rural transportation districts.
- The Utah Department of Transportation will receive over $7.3 million on behalf of Park City Transit to improve 72 bus stops.
- The Vermont Agency of Transportation will receive over $22 million to buy electric buses and charging equipment to replace aging diesel buses for Green Mountain Transit.
- The Washington State Department of Transportation will receive over $10 million on behalf of Island Transit, Grays Harbor Transit Authority, and the Grant Transit Authority to build new transit facilities and buy new bus models.
- The Wyoming Department of Transportation will receive nearly $1 million to help buy zero-emission battery-electric buses and charging equipment for the Teton Village Association Improvement and Service District.