FTA announces $20.5B for transit agencies

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On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that $20.5 billion in federal funding would be available to support public transit across the country.

The funding, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will be available to help communities expand, modernize, maintain and operate public transportation systems, upgrade stations, tracks and maintenance facilities, plan and design new transit corridors, and provide access for seniors and riders with disabilities.

“As part of President Biden’s infrastructure plan, we’re making history’s biggest-ever federal investment in transit – trains, buses, ferries, and more – so people can reliably and affordably get to wherever they need to be,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “This $20.5 billion investment in public transportation will support the daily lives of millions of Americans across the country and help communities expand access to economic opportunity.”

Officials said the funding would be based on population changes in the 2020 Census, and that some areas will see changes based on new urbanized area boundaries. Some population fluctuations resulted in regions exceeding or falling below the 50,000-populaiton threshold for urbanized areas. Other thresholds within the urban programs will determine apportionment to the states or urbanized areas.

Formula-based grant programs include funding for transit systems in both urbanized and rural areas, grants for buses and bus facilities, transit designed for seniors and people with disabilities, planning funds, and support to improve the condition of transit assets.

“We are pleased to provide billions of dollars in federal support to communities thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. “Transit funds reach communities large and small, which depend on this funding to start new projects, fix old infrastructure, and ensure fast, safe, convenient service.”