FTA awards $182 million in FY21 Low-No grants to 49 projects

June 28, 2021
The grants help fund the purchase and development of low or no emission transit vehicles and buses.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released the 49 project recipients to receive a portion of the $182 million in grants awarded through the Fiscal Year 2021 Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant Program.

FTA's Low-No Program supports transit agencies in purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses and other transit vehicles that use technologies such as battery electric and fuel-cell. This year's funding opportunity prioritized applications with an environmental justice component, as well as those that support workforce development.

"Public transit connects people to jobs, services and loved ones – and when our transit buses produce low or zero emissions, it's an even bigger win for communities," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "There is overwhelming demand to support low and no emission transit all around the country – in both rural and urban areas – and meeting this need is a matter of climate responsibility and public health."

Last week, congressional offices issued statements accounting for roughly $30 million of the available grant funds. The official release of projects to benefit from the program from FTA provides a clearer understanding of the reach of the program with rural, tribal, suburban and urban systems benefiting from the grant program.

The grants range from slightly more than $611,000, which was awarded to Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona for the purchase of new vehicles to replace diesel vehicles, to more than $7.4 million, which was awarded to the Connecticut Department of Transportation for the purchase of battery-electric buses and the upgrade of its Waterbury bus facility.

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority in western Massachusetts was awarded a $7.2 million grant to purchase battery-electric buses and provide workforce development and training on electric fleet maintenance and management.

The funding break down of the 49 grant recipients is:

  • Two were awarded grants worth more than $7 million,
  • Four were awarded grants worth more than $6 million,
  • Ten were awarded grants worth more than $5 million,
  • Six were awarded grants worth more than $4 million,
  • Seven were awarded grants worth more than $3 million,
  • Eleven were awarded grants worth more than $2 million,
  • Six were awarded grants worth more than $1 million and
  • Three were awarded grants worth more than $600,000.

"The Federal Transit Administration is proud to support our transit partners to upgrade their fleets with newer, cleaner vehicles and facilities," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "These projects are all designed to take dirty buses off the road and replace them with clean, electric models, improving the air we breathe and protecting our planet for future generations."

A full list of grant recipients is available through the FTA’s website.

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.