UPDATE: Bus projects in 18 states secure federal grants

Nov. 21, 2019
Congressional offices have released information about $136.82 million in federal bus and bus facility grants.

Congressional offices have begun to release information detailing projects awarded funds through the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. 

Approximately $136.82 million has been revealed for the FY19 round of grants through the program, which accounts for slightly more than 32 percent of the $423.3 million FTA was allocated for the program in FY19. FTA opened this round of grants in May with applications due in June.

Grants have been awarded to the following entities and totals appear next to the states with multiple grants:

Colorado ($17.9 million total)

  • $12 million to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to build a new transit facility for the Lift, which operates in Grand County and is the area’s only form of public transportation.
  • $2.02 million awarded to CDOT for the Breckenridge Free Ride.
  • $1.79 million awarded to CDOT for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.
  • $1.62 million awarded to the City of Colorado Springs for Mountain Metropolitan Transit.
  • $400,000 awarded to CDOT for the Snowmass Village Shuttle.
  • $199,500 awarded to CDOT for the Laradon Hall Society for Exceptional Children and Adults in Denver.


  • $17.3 million to the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) to replace Louisville’s aging public buses with a new, fuel-efficient fleet. TARC CEO Ferdinand Risco, Jr., tweeted that the grant will allow TARC to replace 40 buses past their useful life and reduce the percentage of TARC’s fleet needing replacement from 31 percent to 13 percent.

Illinois ($17.78 million total)

  • $17.28 million to the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District for the Illinois Terminal Expansion Project, which will update the terminal to meet current and future demand, increase safety and prevent overcrowding by adding additional bays for both local and intercity buses and rural transportation services.
  • $500,000 for Connect Transit to continue improving bus stop infrastructure through the Better Bus Stop Campaign.


  • $14.23 million to the city of Wichita to develop a multimodal transportation facility with the ability to handle connections from commuter service and connect to the downtown circulator and serve as a transfer point to routes meeting education, employment and economic development that is key to the growth of the west bank area of the Arkansas River. The center will also serve as a quick charge area for the electric bus fleet, which is expected to grow, house Wichita's bike-share program and include nearly 600 parking spaces.

Maryland ($13.86 million total)

  • $11.04 million for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for Metrobus system improvements that will support the upgrade of existing farebox equipment with modern, supported technologies throughout the entire fleet. WMATA says the technology upgrade will help protect operational reliability while also enabling the introduction of new buses.
  • $1.65 million for Baltimore County/Towson Circulator that will support the purchase of new buses and infrastructure for the Towson Circulator.
  • $850,000 for the Shore Transit Project (Tri-County Council)/Eastern Shore) that will support the replacement of vehicles.
  • $248,000 for Delmarva Community Services Project/Delmarva that will support the replacement of vehicles.
  • $76,500 for St. Mary’s Transit System Project/St. Mary’s County to expand vehicle maintenance facilities.


  • $9.41 million to the Iowa Department of Transportation, which will use the funds to replace 107 of the oldest public transportation buses in the state with 21 of the state's public transportation systems set to benefit from the grant. 

Rhode Island

  • $8 million for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) to build new mobility hubs at the University of Rhode Island (URI) in South Kingstown and the Community College of Rhode Island's (CCRI) Knight Campus.  

Ohio ($7.87 million total)

  • $4.3 million to Laketran to purchase battery electric buses and equipment and reconstruct a park and ride facility.
  • $2.97 million to the Greater Dayton Regional Transit (GDRTA) to replace eight outdated buses with new, clean diesel replacement buses.
  • $600,104 to Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) to upgrade maintenance bays in the facility where buses are repaired.

Mississippi ($5.68 million total)

  • $5.68 million to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which will be used for transit improvement throughout the state. 


  • $4.7 million to the Transit Authority of the city of Omaha to procure vehicles. 


  • $4.3 million to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), which will use the funds to replace diesel-fueled buses with compressed natural gas buses


  • $4.3 million to the Mass Transportation Authority of Flint to refurbish existing buses, as well as purchase new vehicles. 

Maine ($3.22 million total)

  • $1.286 million to the city of Bangor’s Community Connector Public Transit System to construct a new multimodal bus transit center that will offer enhanced amenities and improved accessibility to all transportation services provided in the Bangor area.
  • $1.058 million to the Maine Department of Transportation to replace 19 transit vehicles that have exceeded their useful lives through the department’s “Building Trust in Transit: Improving Maine’s Rural Bus Fleet” project. These 19 replacement vehicles will provide immediate benefits for three regional transit providers that provide services for eight of Maine’s 16 counties and include Downeast Community Partners, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program and Waldo County Action Partners.
  • $880,000 to the Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Transit Committee to purchase two trolley buses to replace public vehicles that have exceeded their useful life.


  • $2.02 million to the city of Tuscaloosa to finance bus and bus facilities capital projects.

Oregon ($2.6 million total)

  • $1.05 million to the Salem Area Mass Transit District (SAMTD), which will use the funds replace outdated buses with updated vehicles that will better serve commuters in the Salem-Keizer Area.
  • $999,968 for Yamhill County Transit
  • $300,000 for the city of Woodburn 
  • $150,126 for the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District in Wasco County
  • $110,500 for Eugene and Florence


  • $2 million to the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority to purchase CNG buses.

Montana ($1.35 million total)

  • $840,000 will be designated to Billings’ MET buses and bus facilities.
  • $510,088 will be designated to North Central Montana Transit buses and bus facilities.


  • $800,000 to the city of Janesville to assist in the purchase of buses

Mass Transit will continue to update coverage as additional details of the grants are released.


This story has been updated since its original publication to incorporate additional grant recipients.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.