The Texas Department of Transportation is helping boost public transit investments statewide due to additional federal funding received from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enacted in November 2021.
[Above photo by TxDOT]
On July 12, the Texas Transportation Commission awarded more than $68 million in federal and state funds to transit providers across the state. Combined with an award received in June, TxDOT is distributing more than $146 million in funding – a 65 percent increase compared to funds approved in the summer of 2021.
Those funds will make transit safer and more reliable, noted TxDOT Transportation Commissioner Alvin New in a statement – ensuring Texans have access to jobs, schools, healthcare, and other important destinations and services.
“This funding is critical to ensuring everyone in Texas, especially in rural areas, has access to where they need to go safely and reliably,” New said. “Many people across the state rely on these services for basic life needs because they have no other option. We’re excited to help fund these agencies as they continue to help the people of Texas.”
Transit agencies can use this funding to cover maintenance costs, buy new buses, build new facilities, and expand their services to pick up more people. Here are some specific examples:
- Concho Valley Transit District in San Angelo will build a bus storage and in-house maintenance facility.
- The Rural Economic Assistance League, which serves nine counties in the Coastal Bend area of South Texas, will build a multimodal transit facility after doubling its service area over the past several years.
- The Texoma Area Paratransit System, Inc., which serves six counties near the Oklahoma border, is bringing administration and transportation functions from leased space to a new facility.
- Brazos Transit District, which serves seven counties in the Brazos Valley, will expand its service and add fuel vehicles on site.
TxDOT that this combination of state and federal funds supports both rural and urban transit services in over 90 percent of the state’s land area, serving more than a third of the state’s population.
Many state departments of transportation across the country provide significant support to transit services in their respective areas.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has made its annual “Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation Report” available for purchase via the online AASHTO Store.
The fiscal year 2022 report – based on FY 2020 data due to the COVID-19 pandemic – provides a snapshot of state-by-state investment in public transportation from federal, state, and local funding sources.
Numerous tables and charts detail how different funding and tax mechanisms support transit operations and related capital projects.
The report also addresses the impact of the pandemic on state transit programs, including creative and innovative solutions to help transit agencies overcome pandemic-related obstacles.