The Federal Transit Administration has issued a new notice of funding opportunity to help improve transit in areas experiencing what the agency calls “long-term economic distress.”
[Above photo by FTA]
The $20 million in competitive grants offered via that NOFO comes through the FTA’s Areas of Persistent Poverty or AoPP program, which provides resources to underserved and disadvantaged communities seeking to expand or improve transit systems.
The FTA said its AoPP program supports planning and technical studies to improve public transportation in areas experiencing long-term economic hardship – in rural, urban, and tribal communities alike. The program also funds planning for transit agencies to transition to low- and no-emission vehicles and associated charging equipment. Since 2020, FTA has awarded 70 projects through the program, totaling more than $24.6 million.
“Transit is the great equalizer – particularly in rural areas, where having access to an affordable, reliable bus ride means people can get to their destinations, in a timely manner,” noted FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez in a statement. “FTA’s Areas of Persistent Poverty Program ends isolation and opens doors to opportunity for those who do not have a car or cannot drive.”
As part of its effort to streamline processes for those seeking federal funding, FTA said it has “simplified” the application process for AoPP grants. The agency added that, as many economically distressed communities also face environmental challenges, special consideration will be given to projects that mitigate air, water, and ground pollution.