FTA allocates $20 million to boost public transit in distressed communities

Posted: 21 July 2023 | | No comments yet

FTA allocates $20 million to enhance public transit in 47 distressed communities, creating job opportunities and improving accessibility for residents in low-income areas through targeted studies based on Census data.

FTA allocates $20 million to boost public transit in distressed communities

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced that it will grant $20 million to 47 communities to enhance public transportation options in economically distressed areas. The initiative is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s infrastructure investment plan aimed at creating jobs and opportunities across America.

Through FTA’s Areas of Persistent Poverty (AoPP) programme, state and local governments, transit agencies, as well as non-profits will receive support to improve transit accessibility for residents facing limited or no transportation options.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “Through this programme, we are bringing affordable, accessible public transit to the very communities that need it the most, making it possible for more people to access jobs, resources and opportunity.”

The AoPP funds can be utilised to establish new transit services, upgrade existing services and modernise fleets, including the acquisition of low- and no-emission buses, the development of scheduling apps and improvements to bus stops. The programme also aligns with the commitment to invest in projects that benefit communities with environmental justice concerns.

“Transit is the great equaliser, providing rides for those who do not have a car or cannot drive, and particularly in rural and Tribal areas, having access to an affordable, reliable bus ride can mean the difference between isolation and opportunity,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.

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The grants will be dedicated to studies aimed at improving transit in low-income areas defined by Census data. In addition, the programme supports human service transportation planning to enhance mobility and access, including services for individuals with mobility challenges.

Some of the selected projects include:

  • The Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority in Connecticut will receive $450,000 for a planning analysis targeting underserved communities
  • The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will receive $778,500 to assess the potential re-opening of the historic Englewood (Green) Line Racine station with modern accessibility standards
  • The Jackson Medical Mall Foundation in Mississippi will receive $612,684 to expand transportation options using a community-based transportation model
  • The Cherokee Nation in Northeastern Oklahoma will receive $576,188 to update its long-range transit plan, including an electric vehicle infrastructure assessment and a technology assessment to enhance user access for its 450,000 tribal citizens.

FTA has received nearly $36 million in funding requests, and the projects have been selected based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.