DOT Announces $264M in Grants to Modernize Bus Infrastructure

New buses are going to be popping up across the country. 

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The Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration recently announced that $264 million would be spent to improve the safety and reliability of the nation’s bus systems. A total of 139 projects in 52 states and territories will receive funding that will finance projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment. Money will also be spent on purchasing, fixing, and constructing bus-related facilities.

“Every day, working families across America rely on buses, and these grants will ensure that these vital services continue to be both safe and efficient,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao in a statement. 

The demand for the Federal Transit Administration’s Buses and Bus Infrastructure Investment Program exceeded available funds. The FTA received 453 applications for available projects totaling $2 billion in funding requests. Selected projects will receive funding from fiscal year 2017 and 2018 funds. Projects were selected based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity

In order to be selected, applicants had to show how their proposed project would address an "unmet need for capital investments in bus vehicles and/or supporting facilities." Applicants also had to describe how well the proposed project would improve the transit system and mention if funds were available locally or not. 

The projects selected to receive grants include: The Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Florida funds will be spent to purchase Compressed Natural Gas buses to replace older buses in need of retirement. Pennsylvania funding will be used to purchase low-floor clean diesel buses. Tennessee will be given the opportunity with grant funding to replace old buses.

“This marks a step forward in improving mobility for the millions of Americans who travel by bus to work, school, healthcare and other services,” said FTA Acting Administrator, K. Jane Williams.