The Sacramento Regional Transportation District will receive $76.8 million to buy up to 29 new hydrogen fuel cell buses to replace older buses, modernize a maintenance facility, and initiate a...

The Sacramento Regional Transportation District will receive $76.8 million to buy up to 29 new hydrogen fuel cell buses to replace older buses, modernize a maintenance facility, and initiate a workforce development program.

Photo: SacRT

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded approximately $1.5 billion in funding to support 117 projects that will improve public transportation in 47 states.

Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, FTA has awarded nearly $5 billion in the past three years to replace and modernize transit buses on America’s roadways, building new technology with American workers. U.S. factories will produce more than 4,600 of these new buses.

“Today, another 117 communities across 47 states are receiving the good news that their transit buses are being modernized and their commutes improved through President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris Administration is helping agencies replace old buses running on dirtier, expensive fuels by delivering modern and zero-emission buses, manufactured by American workers, which will connect more people to where they need to go.” 

Feds Continuing Zero Emission Investment

The funding continues the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic federal investments in the nation’s bus systems and the transit workforce.

Nearly 80% of the buses being funded will run on zero- and low-emission technology, reducing air pollution and helping meet the President’s goal of zero emissions by 2050.

These programs also advance President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments in climate, clean energy, clean transportation, and other areas flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are creating new opportunities to improve the lives of millions of Americans who rely daily on buses,” said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. “These grants will help deliver cleaner and greener transportation, designed to reach everyone, and to work for everyone, particularly in places that haven’t received enough resources in the past.”

Federal support for bus projects over the last several years has been instrumental in improving public transit and helping communities advance their climate goals.

This Year’s Projects Awarded

For this year’s selections, FTA prioritized awards that will help strengthen U.S. bus manufacturing, stabilize the cost of new buses, and accelerate the delivery of new vehicles.

Of the 117 projects selected, 47 projects totaling $817 million are from applicants that committed to procuring standard model buses or using a joint procurement.

Buying standardized bus models without customization can shorten manufacturing timelines and contain costs. By prioritizing these awards, FTA is encouraging lower costs and accelerated vehicle delivery that will result in more American-built buses getting on the road faster.

Examples of projects receiving FY24 funding include:

  • New Jersey Transit will receive approximately $99.5 million to build a charging facility with a solar canopy at its Meadowlands Bus Garage. This project will allow New Jersey Transit to shelter, charge, and support the deployment of battery-electric buses with renewable energy while increasing service and advancing environmental justice throughout the state.
  • The Sacramento Regional Transportation District will receive $76.8 million to buy up to 29 new hydrogen fuel cell buses to replace older buses, modernize a maintenance facility, and initiate a workforce development program. The project will improve service, reliability, and air quality throughout the greater Sacramento area.
  • The Colorado Department of Transportation, on behalf of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA), will receive $32.8 million to modernize its Glenwood Springs Operations and Maintenance Facility to support its future zero-emission bus fleet. This project will help RFTA, which serves three counties and eight municipalities in rural central Colorado, achieve its goal of a 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2050.
  • The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) in Orlando will receive $27.6 million to buy up to 30 compressed natural gas buses to replace older diesel buses on routes throughout Central Florida. This project will support LYNX’s efforts to transition its entire fleet to a combination of low- and zero-emission vehicles by 2028, as well as provide more efficient and reliable service to its riders.
  • The Shoshone Bannock Tribe will receive $722,400 to buy five buses and two vans to replace older vehicles. The new vehicles will enable the tribe to provide much-needed bus service on the Fort Hall Reservation and into Pocatello, Blackfoot, and Power County, Idaho.

Bus and Bus Facilities Grants

The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities program provides federal funding for transit agencies to buy and rehabilitate buses and vans and build and modernize bus facilities.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides nearly $2 billion through 2026 for the program. For Fiscal Year 2024, approximately $390 million was available for grants under this program.

In addition to investing in the future of transit, the awards announced also invest in America’s workers. The zero-emission bus grants include support for transit agencies to train their workers to drive and maintain buses powered by new technology.

In response to the Notice of Funding Opportunity, FTA received 477 eligible project proposals totaling $9 billion in requests.

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