The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $409.6 million in competitive grant funds for building and maintaining transit buses and vans in communities throughout the U.S., according to the company’s press release.
The Buses and Bus Facilities Program is the Biden-Harris Administration’s investment in American infrastructure and commitment to combatting climate change nationwide.
The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the program announced the opportunity to compete for grants helping transit agencies buy and rehabilitate buses, vans, and related equipment.
"The Biden Administration believes that expanding and improving bus service is an essential part of reaching our ambitious economic, climate, equity, safety and accessibility goals," said Polly Trottenberg, deputy transportation secretary. “This funding will help transit agencies modernize their bus fleets and better connect their riders with jobs and opportunities — benefits we can bring to even more communities with passage of the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act.”
FTA said it is encouraging applicants to submit projects that will help improve air quality and promote environmental justice.
"Transit operators nationwide have an opportunity to replace aging buses and facilities with newer, cleaner infrastructure that is more efficient to operate and maintain," said Nuria Fernandez, FTA administrator. "Modern buses, particularly those powered with battery-electric or fuel cells, improve air quality and help us address the climate crisis."
The FTA said it encourages applicants to consider significant community benefits related to the environment and to consider projects that encourage racial equity in planning and policies.
Recipients will be encouraged to use up to 0.5% of their grant award for workforce development activities and an additional 0.5% for costs associated with training at the National Transit Institute.
Eligible applicants for Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities funding include public transit agencies, state transportation departments, and Indian Tribes.
Projects will be evaluated by defined criteria in Federal law and in the NOFO, including the applicant’s demonstration of need, the project’s benefits, project implementation strategy, and capacity for implementing the project.
Instructions for applying can be found on FTA's website and in GRANTS.GOV (funding opportunity FTA 2021-008-TPM-Bus). Complete proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 19.