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USDoT announces funding for public transportation under Infrastructure Law [free access]

November 18, 2021

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDoT’s) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced key priorities and funding amounts for public transportation under the Infrastructure Law. The law authorises up to USD108 billion, including USD91 billion in guaranteed funding for public transportation.


Key priorities for public transportation under the law include: Safety- The law will enhance state safety oversight programmes by strengthening rail inspection practices, protecting transit workers and riders from injuries, and ensuring safe access to transit; Modernisation- The law will reduce the maintenance backlog by repairing and upgrading aging transit infrastructure and by modernising bus and rail fleets; Climate- The law will fund and support the replacement of thousands of transit vehicles, including buses and ferries, with cleaner, greener vehicles; Equity- The law will invest in and improve transit service for communities that have historically had more limited access to transit and provide for substantial upgrades to accessibility.


Key funding levels and programmatic changes for public transportation over a five-year period (Fiscal Years 2022 to 2026) are: increased funding for FTA formula and competitive grant programmes for America’s communities, including: USD33.5 billion for the Urbanized Area Formula Program to support transit operations in 500 communities across the country; USD23.1 billion for the State of Good Repair Program to assist in financing capital projects to maintain public transit systems; USD5.6 billion in Low or No Emission Vehicle Competitive Grants to support the transition of transit vehicles to low- or zero-emission technologies; USD5.1 billion in Buses and Bus Facilities formula and competitive grants; USD4.6 billion in Rural Area Formula Grants to support transit investments and operations in rural areas and communities, including USD229 million for Public Transportation on Indian Reservations formula and competitive grants; USD2.2 billion for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program; USD3.9 billion for additional Urbanized and Rural Formula Program assistance through the Growing States and High-Density States formulas; USD966.4 million to support Metropolitan and Statewide Planning programmes.


The funding also includes up to USD23 billion for the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, with USD8 billion guaranteed for investment in new high-capacity transit projects that communities choose to build, USD193 million for transit research activities, and USD62 million for technical assistance and workforce development activities.


FTA has also launched new competitive grant programmes under the law. The four programmes are: USD1.75 billion for an All Stations Accessibility Program to reduce the number of legacy rail transit stations that remain inaccessible to individuals with disabilities; USD1.5 billion for Rail Vehicle Replacement Grants to replace railcars that are past their useful life and to improve reliability, safety, and accessibility for transit passengers; USD1 billion for the Ferry Service for Rural Communities Program to improve access and mobility in areas where ferry service is a critical link for communities; USD250 million for an Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry pilot programme to support the transition of passenger ferries to low- or zero-emission technologies.