Massachusetts DOT announces $37M in regional public transportation grants

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On Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced it had awarded $37 million in grant funding available to support regional public transportation.

The funding will be used to invest in vehicles, fleet electrification and transit services, authorities said. Funding can also be used to expand public transportation service hours, to improve public transportation to rural communities and to assist with operating and capital expenses. Grants totaling nearly $20 million from the Community Transit Grant Program (CTGP) will be used to purchase vehicles for public transportation. Another $2 million from the CTGP will be used to expand mobility for older adults and those with disabilities or low-income. Another $15 million from the Regional Transit Innovation Grant (RTIG) program will be used to increase operating and capital funding for transit providers.

“We are excited to announce these grant funds because we know the money will go a long way to supporting the needs of organizations that provide mobility options across the state,” Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey said. “Public transportation plays a crucial role when it comes to accessibility, community connectivity, and economic growth and we will work to ensure that all residents have access to the transportation services they need.”

Officials said the RTIG program received 60 applications, and only 18 projects received funding. Of those, 48 percent was awarded to projects in rural service areas, exceeding the state’s 25 percent requirement.

“This grant money supports a lifeline for so many – essential travel to doctor’s appointments, shopping centers, school, work locations, and other important destinations,” Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll said. “Funding for these transit providers will truly make a difference by increasing public transportation routes, adding more hours of service, and expanding the number of electric public transit vehicles on our roads.”