Over the weekend, FTA administrator Peter Rogoff broke the news that a new $775 million in federal funds will be allocated to transit agencies nationwide to upgrade their bus systems. This is an addition to recent grants made for both bus and rail transit. The announcement was made during APTA’s Bus and Paratransit conference in Cleveland:
“Well maintained, clean and reliable buses make a world of difference to the millions of Americans who use transit every day,” Administrator Rogoff said. “The Obama Administration is making these funds available to ensure that financially strapped transit providers can keep buses rolling and serving the public during these difficult economic times.”
FTA will review applications for the discretionary bus and bus facility funds, and will prioritize proposals based on how they address the issue of the transit system’s state of good repair and recapitalization needs.
Eligible expenses for the funds include purchase and rehabilitation of buses and vans, modernization of buses, bus facilities and revenue service facilities, bus-related equipment and components of transit asset management plans. Deadline for applications is June 18, 2010. Grantees are expected to be announced in late summer 2010.
King County Metro is expected to bid for funding from the program, but has not yet decided what and for how much it will request money for. From a Metro spokesperson:
We do anticipate applying for funding from this newly announced competitive grant program. We will review the guidelines to determine what activities we have that will be eligible for the program, so we don’t yet have an estimate of how much we will be requesting.