U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has approved $787 million to repair and modernise the nation’s aging transit infrastructure while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This third round of federal funding will support 255 projects in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Included is $104.5 million for CNG projects; $7.1 million under Bus Livability and $97.4 million under State of Good Repair programs.
“President Obama’s support for an America built to last is putting people back to work across the country repairing and upgrading our nation’s public transit systems,” said Secretary LaHood. “By investing in the transit infrastructure people depend on to get where we need to go each day, we will keep our economy moving forward well into the future.”
Project descriptions include:
- buying natural gas powered vehicles for fleet expansion
- replacing vehicles that have met or exceeded their useful lives
- expanding natural gas bus maintenance facilities
- expanding CNG fuelling accommodation
Three projects stand out amongst the 22 successful CNG project applications:
- New Jersey Transit will use $46.2 million to replace buses in its fleet that have met or exceeded their useful life with CNG buses. The new buses will more than double the size of the CNG bus fleet and result in fuel cost economy savings consistent with the New Jersey State Energy Master Plan.
- The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has been granted $10 million to expand and modernize its East County Bus Maintenance Facility in Cajon. The buildings at this location were originally constructed in 1959, are no longer compliant with city and state building codes, and are hindering MTS’ ability to maintain it nearly 100% CNG vehicle fleet.
- The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has been granted $10 million to replace buses in its fleet. These new buses will improve reliability for riders, leave a smaller environmental footprint and reduce fuel costs.
Reflecting the need for infrastructure investment nationwide, demand for the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) FY2012 State of Good Repair and Bus Livability funds was overwhelming. FTA received 836 project applications totaling $4 billion in requests. In FY2010 and FY2011, FTA awarded a total of more than $1.8 billion in grants for hundreds of state of good repair projects, primarily involving buses and bus facilities.
“Since Day One, this Administration has been focused on addressing the maintenance backlog of our nation’s transit systems, and this is another down-payment on that effort,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “For millions of Americans, these investments mean that they may more reliably and safely get to work to earn a paycheck or get to daycare to pick up their children on time, or simply have new choices to enjoy the communities in which they live.”