Nearly $1.7 billion funding available to deploy clean transit buses across U.S.

Posted: 6 February 2023 | | No comments yet

Provided through two federal grants, the $1.7 billion funding will enable state and local agencies to purchase new zero-emission buses, and boost workforce development initiatives to train employees for skilled jobs.

Nearly $1.7 billion funding available to deploy clean transit buses across U.S.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the availability of nearly $1.7 billion to support state and local efforts to modernise aging transit fleets with low- and no-emission buses, renovate and construct bus facilities and support workforce development.

Made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is for two programmes that help transit agencies replace old buses, provide good paying jobs, improve transit affordability and reliability, invest in community health and environmental justice, and contribute to the President’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The first year of these programmes will nearly double the number of no-emission transit buses on America’s roads.

“The historic funding opportunity we are announcing today (27 January 2023) is helping communities across the country purchase new buses, which will cut harmful pollution, and train workers for good-paying jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With these new, cleaner buses, Americans will have better options to get where they need to go and people everywhere will benefit from cleaner air.”

The funding opportunity, which covers FTA’s Low or No Emission (Low-No) Program and Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program, is structured to advance key national priorities.

As part of FTA’s commitment to build a diverse and skilled public transportation workforce and help upskill workers for new bus technologies, 5% of each grant for zero-emission projects must be used for workforce development and training. 

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Furthermore, this funding opportunity also gives priority consideration to projects that advance environmental justice under the administration’s Justice40 Initiative, and to projects that will catalyse a broader shift towards low- and zero-emission options across the transit sector.

“Buying new buses, including many vehicles that use new technology to fight climate change, will promote cleaner, faster and safer rides as we move toward a better future,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “Thanks to the strong commitment of this administration to not leave anyone behind, we will be able to connect more people in their communities and improve the reliability of transit service.” 

FTA’s Low or No Emission (Low-No) Program helps transit agencies buy or lease U.S.-built zero-emission and low-emission transit buses along with charging equipment and supporting facilities. In total, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $5.5 billion over five years for the programme – more than six times greater than the previous five years of funding. For Fiscal Year 2023, approximately $1.22 billion will be available for grants under this programme.

In addition, FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program supports transit agencies in buying and re-habilitating buses, vans, and related equipment and building bus facilities. In total, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides nearly $2 billion over five years for the programme. For Fiscal Year 2023, approximately $469 million for grants will be available. 

With 2023’s new round of funding, more transit agencies across the U.S. will be able to build, repair, expand, and improve fleets and the facilities that support them. 

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