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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of $1.5 Billion in Federal Funding to Modernize Bus Fleets and Deploy Clean Transit Buses Across America

Funding from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law not only puts cleaner buses on the road, it also supports American manufacturing

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced the availability of approximately $1.5. billion to support American transit vehicle manufacturing – including zero-emission buses – help build bus facilities, and promote workforce development. Historic investment in transit, made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and as part of his Investing in America agenda, will help transit agencies replace aging buses, reduce air pollution, provide good-paying jobs, and improve the reliability of transit systems.

“More funding for buses means less traffic congestion on the road, less pollution in the air, and more jobs for American workers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Thanks to the President’s infrastructure law, we are bringing thousands of new, clean buses to communities large and small across the country.”

FTA’s Low- or No-Emission Program helps transit agencies buy or lease U.S.-built zero-emission and low-emission transit buses along with charging equipment and supporting facilities. FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program supports transit agencies in buying and rehabilitating buses and vans and building bus facilities. In Fiscal Year 2024, $1.1 billion will be authorized for the Low-No Program and $390 million for grants for buses and bus facilities.

FTA is also focused on strengthening U.S. bus manufacturing, which can stabilize the cost of new buses and accelerate delivery of new vehicles. More standardized bus models will shorten manufacturing timelines, so transit agencies competing for funds are encouraged to consider strategies to avoid customization. By prioritizing this in applications, FTA is encouraging improvements in bus vehicle delivery that will result in more American-built buses getting on the road faster.

“Buying new buses, including many vehicles that use new technology to cut carbon pollution, will promote cleaner, faster, and safer rides as we move toward a better future,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “FTA is also providing solutions to reduce bus costs, shorten production timelines, and maintain domestic manufacturing capacity as transit agencies procure buses.”

Wednesday, FTA leaders joined government and industry leaders at a White House Roundtable on Clean Bus Manufacturing to highlight the nation’s progress in transitioning to zero-emission buses and discuss strategies to address challenges facing the U.S. bus manufacturing industry as it strives to meet the growing demand. Leaders highlighted solutions to ensure U.S. capacity to manufacture and deliver clean buses at a scale and pace needed to meet market demands and achieve national climate and equity goals.

FTA’s bus funding represents the third bus grant package since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which has invested more than $3.3 billion in American transit buses and the infrastructure that supports them. Over the next three years, record funding for American transit investment secured under President Biden’s leadership will provide almost $5 billion more for bus programs. 

The application period for the Notice of Funding Opportunity opens on February 8.

As part of FTA’s commitment to build a diverse and skilled public transportation workforce and help upskill workers for new bus technologies, five percent of each grant for zero emission projects is set aside for workforce development and training. FTA encourages workforce development plans to be developed in partnership with workforce representatives and the use of registered apprenticeships.

This funding opportunity also gives priority consideration to projects that advance environmental justice under the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, and to projects that will catalyze a broader shift toward low- and zero-emission options across the transit sector. FTA is also streamlining application requirements for Tribal governments.

Last year, FTA announced the second round of selections for these programs with Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding. These selections invested in more than 1,700 American-built buses that will be manufactured with American parts and labor. Nearly half of these buses will be zero-emission models, bringing the total number of zero-emission transit buses funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law over two years to more than 1,800 – and more than doubling the number of zero-emission transit buses on America’s roadways. Selections included:

  • The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) was awarded $104 million to convert its Lorton, Va., bus garage to a fully electric facility, buy battery-electric buses, and develop a workforce training program for drivers, mechanics, and first responders to ensure safe and efficient operations of the fleet. This project will support WMATA’s plans to accelerate its transition to a 100-percent zero-emission bus fleet and create good paying construction jobs, which will be supported through a project labor agreement and registered apprenticeships.
     
  • King County Metro Transit in Seattle, Washington, was awarded $33.5 million to buy battery-electric buses and charging equipment and train workers to maintain the electric fleet. The project will convert 27 bus routes that serve low-income areas and expand Metro’s apprenticeship program, including promoting transit careers for residents in underserved communities.
     
  • The Ohio Department of Transportation was awarded $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 decarbonization transition for several of Ohio’s major transit systems. The new battery electric, CNG, and propane powered buses supported by this grant will provide better reliability, improve air quality, and lower maintenance costs across the state.
     
  • The White Earth Reservation Business Committee was awarded $723,171 to buy low-emission buses with electronic farebox systems to replace older vehicles. The new buses will enable the agency to reduce fuel costs while continuing to provide much-needed bus service in rural communities on the reservation in northwest Minnesota.

With this year’s new round of funding, more transit agencies across the country will be able to build, repair, expand, and improve fleets and the facilities that support them.

Instructions for applying and eligibility information can be found on and in GRANTS.GOV (FTA-2024-003-TPM-LWNO; FTA-2024-004-TPM-BUS). Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV “APPLY” function by April 25, 2024.

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Official news published at https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/biden-harris-administration-announces-availability-15-billion-federal-funding

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